Condo Owner

Volume19 Issue3 2015

Condo Owner publishes information vital to the business and pleasure of resort condominium ownership. Topics covered relate to real estate market trends, community association matters, rental management issues, tax and insurance updates and more.

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its, if possible," he said. "Associations should consult their attorneys regarding drafting declaration amendments or board-made rules related to occupancy restrictions so that it can be assured that applicable fair housing laws are not violated by the language of the restriction." One standard that condo associations can adopt is the model national fire code for con- dominium units, which equates to an occu- pancy limit of one person per 200 square feet of unit space. While it is not mandatory for all fire departments to adopt the model code, Roberts said it is a commonly-used standard. While codes may vary, they will exist and should be understood. "I always recommend that condominium associations and owners that rent units conform the internal occupancy limits to whatever the limit is for the fire district wherein the condominium is located," he said. Once policies and rules are in place, the next step is enforcement, which can be tricky since guests assume the rights of the owner when occupying the unit. Rules and regula- tions must specifically provide for a different standard for owners, guests of owners and guests of guests, according to Greer. "Evictions are a sensitive matter with poten- tial legal ramifications," he emphasized. "As a result, the rules and regulations should identify and communicate which guests conduct war- rants eviction and should outline the warning notification plan." Roberts noted that the rental contract dictates "next steps" in terms of eviction or removal. "If the contract provides for removal in that situation, then the rental owner/rental agent should be able to remove the renter," he said. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a police officer will get involved to force the removal of a renter violating terms of a private rental contract, especially if the activity of the renter is not unlawful or dangerous to public welfare. "A condominium association usually has very little authority to remove a renter unless a police officer is willing to do so be- cause of the actions of renters," Roberts added. Because condominium associations and communities tend to be fluid in nature, with owners, board members and management companies often changing hands, Greer emphasized that communication between the home owners association and all parties is key. That said, he advised that the property rules and regulations, policies, procedures and control measures be shared and reaffirmed often. "Management companies and owners who continually violate the rules and regulations risk falling out of favor with the condominium owners association and having restrictions placed upon them," he said. "Those restric- tions could result in lost rental income." Additionally, he pointed out that good management companies and individual owners require that the condo bedding meets the unit standard for maximum occupancy. Because property wristbands and parking passes are also commonly restricted to the maximum occupancy, exceeding the unit occupancy becomes an undesirable, uncomfortable prospect for guests. n V O L U M E 1 9 • I S S U E 3 condo owner 31 association matters "Management companies and owners who continually violate the rules and regulations risk falling out of favor with the condominium owners association and having restrictions placed upon them. Those restrictions could result in lost rental income."

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