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Condo board wants to add no renters policy to by-laws

Posted on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 @ 07:53 AM
  
  
  

The majority of our owners have voted several times in the past few years that we do not want renters in our building. One owner has decided that since it is not in the by-laws they will go ahead and rent anyway. So my question is what is the best way to proceed and have added to our by-laws that we have a no renters policy.

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COMMENTS

Read you by-laws and Master Deed. They should tell you how to amend your by-laws.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 8:00 AM by Terry Duffy


As stateted by the owner that decided to rent anyway, You cannot make policy contrary to you Declaration filed with your county or your By-Laws unless both documents have language saying the BOD can amend as needed. Even if the BOD can amend as needed. The amendment has to be filled with the county to be legal and all unit ownwer have to be notified of the pending proposed changes and then mailed a new copy of the amended declaration and By-Laws.  
Check the wording of your Declaration and By-Laws carefullly. In most cases, the BOD does not have the right to make changes without at least a 60/40 vote from the association members (i.e. owners)

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 8:09 AM by Dan


As a board member and resident owner, I understand the no renter idea, but you're group is being short sided. what happens when you die and your children become the new owner and the real estate market is down and they can sell? what happens if you suddenly have to move into an assisted living facility and could use the additional income from a rental? if your board isn't strong enough to manage the situtation with renters and the owners can't manage their own rentals look at hiring a management company. Renter's aren't bad people, they just need to read and understand your rules, regulations and by-laws and your board needs to develope a relationship wiith them and understand that renters are people too. Before kicking out the renter, think about the long haul and follow the money for the future, not just looking at today. GR

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 8:11 AM by GR


GR makes a very good point; our board totally ignores the violations of "rules" by renters and leaves it up to individual owners to take up these issues with renters (very ticklish situations). How do you get board to enforce standards for renters? I've addressed board once on this issue but have received no help. Renters' actions devalue property for ALL of us, but if board members do not live in the immediate area where renters' reside, board members ignore problems. Only one example: condo docs require renters to submit copies of leases to board. This would staunch such problems as renters operating businesses with commercial vehicles out of condos. It might also encourage owners to inform renters of their condo obligations (which most certainly do not do). I have only heard of one example of this being enforced, and we are approximatelty 20% renters (perhaps more since management co. extremely vague on who is renter and how count is taken.)  

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 8:29 AM by Judy Buaer


Every Association has a different procedure for legally doing so, regulated by law in your particular jurisdiction, and the language in the Declarations, or Master Deed and By-Laws, as relayed to in previous posts.  
In our Association, alterations in our two documents, Master Deed and By-Laws , would require a vote of unit owners exceeding a certain threshold, and that the modification be legal in our state, and then the Amended document be registered with the Registry of Deeds in our County. 

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 8:35 AM by John, The Man, Mastro


It starts with passing an amendment and registering it with the county. 
Then, if in Florida, it will be applicable only to: 
- New owners (purchasing units from now on) 
- Current owners who voted YES to the amendment. (Make a list. Ballots may get lost) 
 
NOTE: Until they sale their unit, current owners who abstained or voted NO can continue to rent or start renting at any time. (It’s a Florida law) 
 
ADDITION: Pass a second amendment imposing a one year “no rental” rule applicable to any new purchase. This one year freeze policy will encourage purchasing by residents, and discourage investors (who don’t want to lose one year of rental income). Overtime it will reduce the number of units owned by investors but let the possibility of renting to current residents if one day they need to rent their units.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 9:13 AM by RS-FL


First of all, Bylaws is a document that describes the HOA as a corporation; officers, meetings, voting, and so on. 
 
Where you to choose poorly and decide to move forward on prohibiting renters, the language needs to go into the Covenants. I would recommend that you hire an attorney to amend the covenants for two reasons; one, to make sure it is legal and second, to make sure the language is correct. 
 
So why not prohibit renters? Assuming it is legal in your area to begin with, the real problem will be with any future federal government approved loans. By prohibiting renters you just eliminated VA, FHA, and others. 
 
Renters should be properly vetted by owner, which is more than you can do with potential new owners. 
 
Owners are 100% responsible for their renters. Therefore, it is in the owner's best interest to ensure their renters are aware of HOA rules and regulations because any violations and the owner will be fined, not the renter. HOAs work for and are responsible to the owners only. 
 
We had a renter in our complex that decided to use a charcoal grill on their balcony, HOA spoke to owner and owner to the renter. A few days later the renter decided to use their charcoal grill in front of the building. Once again the HOA had to speak to the owner, though the HOA President had to go out and ask that they move the grill further in the parking lot to prevent a fire. While local fire code prohibits any open flame within a 100 feet of the building, the HOA prohibits on the property. The renter was reluctant, then the President explained that local fire department and police would be contacted if they did not comply. Within a month the renter moved out. 
 
Our HOA's renter experience has been overall pleasant and they have been just plain nice people. Our HOA Board does not tolerate scoffers and out management company has been good at enforcement and followup. Our HOA attitude towards renters is that someday that renter could be a buyer and they need to be treated as such.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 9:18 AM by Ron-NC


In Florida, you must file an amendment to the Declaration, not to the by-laws. Also, any current owner voting against is grandfathered in and can continue to rent. Check your Condo Laws and documents. You might need 3/4 approval to file the amendment.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 9:38 AM by marjon


I wish this could happen at our property- but to implement this and get it to work is almost impossible to make sure its intact -- most people who have to rent are good people, but then you have offsite owners dumping problematic mental crazies who roam the property creating problems for all that they come across -- police are called and then owners and city's and judges all rule against hoa because not enough owners want to get invold and all they want is there rent money

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 10:45 AM by j


You really need an experienced Condominium attorney to set this up for you. In the USA people have very strong rights on what they can do with their property. As GR said you have to allow for owners dying, bad markets and all sorts of special situations. If you decide to allow a maximum number of renters, you have to set up rules for rotation if necessry. You really need an attorney to set this up if you want to go the no renter route.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 11:10 AM by Don


Did you ever stop to think that owners can also make a mess of their property? Or not pay on time?Not all renters destroy property.We have renters that are very quiet and clean.We also have some that are not.Owners would feel it was their right to have dogs, lots of company too. We only have 2 owners here that live on their property and I am one of them. I can understand your feelings but keep in mind that is not a quick fix. Owners are human too so the problems do not end that easily.Also many owners do not want to live in their unit. Renting them out is an investment for the owners.I take it the renters will be asked to leave. As Don says if an owner dies then the unit may be sitting empty until the affairs are settled. It is good to take all into consideration first. It must be voted in. Maybe some will not want to live in their units. I hope it goes well or you.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 1:44 PM by Mari


can I go to small claims court against the board if I have a legitimate reason without costing myself alot of money to file?

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 4:00 PM by jean stein


You can go to small claims court Jean against the board. I have no idea what it costs.

posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 11:24 PM by Mari


Jean, Your small court question is very interesting and has never been discussed on this blog. But you can't use this thread. 
Make your own request to the blogmaster. Use the HELP botton.

posted @ Saturday, April 13, 2013 8:55 AM by RS-FL


We have nothing about renters in our By-Laws, but our Master Deed addresses the issue and indicates a clause that needs to be in any lease agreement. The Board has mad a resolution requiring 2 additional clauses. I was told when I moved in that we could not lease our unit and that the Master Deed could not be changed. I would strongly advise you to do your own research. I have a supisicion that somewhere in your documents this issue is addresses.

posted @ Saturday, April 13, 2013 1:08 PM by Bonnie


can I file a small claim against board without sueing them since I have been told you are actually sueing yourself; and can they try to file against me for doing what is right? can a judge fire a management company/board for purposely keeping someone from improving their condo with out any of their monies?????

posted @ Saturday, April 13, 2013 9:01 PM by jean


Follow your by-laws, deed, and state laws, and be sure to get enough owner buy-in, but most importantly have an experienced professional write the rule. Talk to him/her about what you want to accomplish, what kinds of exceptions you're willing to allow for which circumstances, etc. I'd venture to guess you can't / shouldn't completely eliminate renting, but you can probably make it a path of last resort, that is carefully controlled, with clear expectations for all parties involved.

posted @ Sunday, April 14, 2013 5:51 PM by Aaron


Besides a cap or a ban, there are several other ways to reduce the number of rentals in the long term. Consider adding these rules:  
 
1. Any new rental unit cannot be rented for more than two years (or 3 years?), after which the unit cannot be rented for at least one year.  
 
2. No rentals are allowed in the first two years of ownership (to prevent investor buyers).  
 
3. All FHA rules, including not more than 10% owned by one owner.  
 
4. The minimum lease term is one year.  
 
5. All rental units must be registered with the board, leases provided to the board, and renters agree to all rules and fines of the association.

posted @ Monday, April 15, 2013 12:41 AM by JT


@JT. I agree with your points 2-4., but disagree with 1. 
 
why, because I believe that if you are going to have renters, then make them long term. 
Getting good, stable and agreeable tenants is hard enough. There should be no rule set in stone that makes a unit owner kick out a tenant automatically.  
I am not against investor owners; but I am against bad owners; and investors who do not live on the property can more often be neglectful.

posted @ Monday, April 15, 2013 7:53 AM by john mastro


@john mastro. You make an interesting point. We have some excellent long-term renters for over five years. Point 1 could be modified to allow the rental to continue after three years to the same tenant but not to a different tenant, if approved by the board. 
 
The purpose of allowing a two-year or three-year rental is to handle situations mentioned by GR and Don that owners need to rent because the owner may die, move, rent while selling, sabbatical, or take care of aging parents in another state. In some cases, it may be the only way the association can continue to receive monthly assessments.

posted @ Monday, April 15, 2013 10:19 AM by JT


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