For some people the purchase of a condominium unit signifies a change in lifestyle. They are moving from their detached home with its lawn and frequent maintenance to a relatively care free unit often overlooking the ocean, a river, or a golf course. However, not everyone shares this vision. For others condominium ownership presents an investment opportunity whereby an owner can rent the unit to families visiting the area for a brief stay, or even an extended stay that lasts a few months. During the recession many unit owners were unable to sell their condominiums and turned to the rental system as a means to pay for the mortgage associated with the unit.
The problem that has arisen for many condominiums is that rental occupants sometimes outnumber unit owners who are present on the property all year long. Although most renters do not cause problems, others, due to their transient nature, are less respectful of rules, cause damage to common elements, and bring about other nuisances. Many boards have sought to remedy this problem by instituting changes to their governing documents; specifically, instituting the policy that owners can only rent their units once per calendar year.
Condominiums considering this change need to be aware of Florida Statute 718.110(13), which provides that “an amendment prohibiting unit owners from renting their units or altering the duration of the rental term or specifying or limiting the number of times unit owners are entitled to rent their units during a specified period applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who acquire title to their units after the effective date of that amendment.” In short, if someone does not consent to the amendment then they remain free to continue short term rental until they sell their property.
Even if not all unit owners consent to the amendment, an association can still quell problems through the implementation of reasonable rules and regulations. For further information about F.S. 718.110(13) or other condominium issues, please contact our office.