D.J. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We purchased a condo in Florida to rent it out. Our closing was in June of 2015. At the time of closing, the bylaws stated you could rent out for 90 days or a 1-year lease. The association does a background check on the renter. After we purchased a vote was taken to change by laws stating you have to live in unit 1 year and there will be a list to be on in order to rent unit out. We voted no on this vote, and kept a copy of our vote. The vote did pass, bylaws ignore any grandfathering except if presently occupied and tenant vacates, then being on a list ensues to insure not more than 30 percent is rented out. It is my understanding we are grandfathered in under old bylaws because closing was prior to new bylaws and we voted no to new laws. 718.110(13) Florida Statute. Association will not acknowledge this at all. Hate to have to get a lawyer. Are we correct, or are we under new bylaws? Any help will be appreciated.
Mister Condo replies:
D.J., I can see where a rule change on renting after you purchased your condo unit would be upsetting. After all, you likely would not have made the purchase if your right to rent was going to be altered so soon after purchasing. The fact that you did not agree to this rule change is also concerning. I am neither an attorney nor am I an expert in Florida Community Association Law but I have friends who are. I reached out to one of those friends for additional clarification. Here is what my friend had to offer:
“The general answer to the question is that if they purchased before the leasing restriction was passed and the unit owner did not vote “yes” on the leasing restriction then they are not bound by it. Their board may not understand the law or is choosing to overlook it.”
Sounds to me like the law should work in your favor, D.J.. If your Board persists in limiting your leasing rights, I would strongly encourage you to seek local legal assistance to remedy your situation. All the best!