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Florida Court Ruling adds Clarifications to Short-term Rentals

  • Florida Court Ruling adds Clarifications to Short-term Rentals

    Florida Court Ruling adds Clarifications to Short-term Rentals

    As the short-term rental market is rising, many condominium owners are concerned that these types of transactions can have negative effects on their properties. Many are also unsure of the rules and regulations concerning these rentals and what they as owners are able to do. Recently, a case in Florida has clarified some of the rights that owners may have when it comes to dealing with the rise of Airbnb and other organizations.
    The clarification came from a ruling in a case involving the Le Scampi Condominium Association and an individual who rented from them. These individuals, named Hall, were accused of renting out their apartment for a period of less than one month without prior approval, which Le Scampi said violated their lease agreement.
    Hall did not dispute that they had rented their apartment for short times, but instead made the claim that the rule requiring prior approval conflicted with their right to lease their unit within the community’s guidelines. A lower court ruled in favor of the Halls based on the finding that the conflict was there and the original writing overrules any additional regulations, such as the one-month limitation. However, an appellate court changed the ruling, stating that the prior approval requirement and the right to lease are separate rules. The unanimous ruling found that the condominium association’s rules requiring prior approval was not in conflict with a right to lease and were enforceable against the Halls.
    This ruling is applicable to the rise of sites such as Airbnb in that condominium associations can know that they have the ability to create their own specific rules governing short-term rents and these rules would not be in conflict with a resident’s right to lease to another party. A concern that many condominium associations have is the risk of nuisance and security that these short-term rentals can bring. While new services and applications as well as registering guests and providing documentations of nonpayment can help owners keep track or avoid unwanted short-term rentals, new rulings provide condo associations the ability to control their owned property and provide legal basis for requiring additional rules that protect property and keep inhabitants happy.