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My property manager has sent me a notice stating that I must cancel all of my upcoming rentals on VRBO immediately due to his understanding that it violates a section in the condominium declaration that states:
"Each unit shall be occupied and used only as a private single family residence and for no other purpose,”. He says this section of the Declaration prohibits the type of short term rental arrangements that I'm using the suite for.
From my understanding, an owner can rent his/her suite for as long or as short as he/she desires. I also understand "private single residence" to mean that two families cannot occupy the same suite.
Please let me know your thoughts and insights on this situation.
This is a tricky situation. Anytime you are dealing with a HOA like a condo association there is a "Deed Restriction" on your property that states you must follow all rules and regulations as set forth by the board of directors or their designee. Simply that means that if you do not follow the rules of the HOA they have the right to revoke your title to the property without recourse. Now it is very rare that an HOA will take your property away, unless you are not paying your HOA fees. However with the number of properties that are in foreclosure and not paying their HOA fees HOA's are now charging an application and or tenant fee for all renters. The backlash to this is where a large number of HOA's that were not enforcing their rules of minimum rental stays are forced to enforce these rules in order to collect the extra monies that are now required. A private single family residence tends to include a stipulation about renters normally it will allow a rental of 6 months or greater depending on the laws of the state. i.e. Florida would be 6 months and 1 day or longer. Depending on the HOA rules each violation could cost up to $5000. On top of all the HOA rules you also have to watch out for city and county zoning regulations. They like to make changes that increase tax revenue.
Lord! HOA's can be SUCH a pain to deal with. I've heard nightmare stories. They are alwasy getting hauled into court here in Colorado. I'd talk to a real estate attorney familiar with that specific area.
I had a similar run in with the local city. You don't mention what state you are in, but Florida has a new law that was recently signed into effect that states "A local law, ordinance, or regulation may not restrict the use of vacation rentals, prohibit vacation rentals, or regulate vacation rentals based solely on their classification, use or occupancy." However, this provision does not apply to and local law, ordinance, or regulation adopted on or before June 1, 2011.
I would start with checking the state and existing local laws regarding transient public lodging establishments -- including the exact definition of a 'vacation rental'. Whereas you have to abide by the HOA rules, they cannot be in direct conflict with state and local laws. Your HOA's definition seems to be open to a bit of interpretation -- by both sides. It is my understanding that when a regulation is not clear, you would refer back to state and local laws for clarity.
We have a 3 month rental minimum but I know people rent for shorter times. However, the HOA docs say you will face legal action if you don't adhere to the rules. Really??? So if I had a 2 month rental, they'd sue me? I can have anyone I know use the place for free without issue but there is definitely an issue with accepting money in a rental situation.