S.O. from Pinellas County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We own 2 condos in our 10-unit building. We live in one and have a renter in the other unit. My question is to you, our renter utilizes 1 of the 4 docks on the property (and they also pay a nominal $25.00 monthly “donation” fee). We now have a new owner and he/the new owner says our renter has to move their boat as he is an owner & Florida water leasing law states that renters are not allowed dock spaces. Please keep in mind the docks were put in by my husband and a couple of past condo owners, all of which no longer own at our building. Does the new owner have a greater right than our renter who has utilized the dock for the past year? I just think the new owner is trying to “bully” us into believing he has more of a right than our renter. The docks are not written into our condo docks as they were put in around 23 or so years ago? Any guidance is very appreciated!!
Mister Condo replies:
S.O., I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. I am unaware of any “water leasing law” that states renters are not allowed dock spaces. I think you should ask the owner to produce the documents or back off. The boat docks are controlled by the condo association and their use is governed by the association’s rules and regulation and the Board. If there is no documentation about the use of the docks within the association’s governance documents, now would be a good time to encourage the Board to adopt some formal rules so as to protect all owners and renters. All the best!