Cities Thoghen Rules on Rental Homes

Rules on Rentals

The Aquarius Condominium Association has long standing rules restricting rentals. New owners can rent their units one year after the purchase. Rentals must be for 90 days or more. Just one rental per year is permitted.

Nevertheless there are cases that some have posted in sites like Airbnb, Zillow, Booking, etc offers of rentals by the day at Aquarius. Whenever possible these rentals are stopped. But it is impossible to avoid all unapproved rentals.  The Aquarius Condo. A. rental rules can be seen HERE  and HERE

If you are a conscientious owner or a long term tenant you can help to prevent the undesired short term rentals.

Red flags you should be aware of:

  • Individuals without FOBs. FOBs are issued to legitimate users only. If a person wanders around without a FOB he or she may be a short term renter.
  • Unlocked doors. Doors with defective FOB readers. These are vulnerable points  to the security of our building. They also make the life of short term renters easier.
  • All authorized cars have a blue sticker with a number that coincides with the number of their exact parking space. Mismatched parking stickers, or even worse, no stickers are a clear indication of irregularity.
  • Excessive in and out of unknown guests. Of course most of us are glad to have family and friends over. One question some one could ask: how large is that family or how broad is that circle of friends?
  • If you see some thing say something. Leave a note at the Security Desk, inform the Office of Management or email any Board of Directors. Verbal complains are OK but written ones are much better.
  • Remember we are all responsible for following the rules and enforcing the rules. The Board, the Management and the Security Team need all the help they can get.
  • You are part of the solution.

Bellow an interesting recent article from the Sun Sentinel. The problem of short term renters and party renters seem to be getting the attention of the authorities. The article address more the single family homes but it is also relevant for beach properties such our Aquarius.


Cities toughen party rules on rental homes

The chorus of complaints is growing louder: Short term rentals are taking a toll on the neighbors, and cities are struggling to keep up.

Residents say they can’t easily drive on their streets because of all the cars parked at vacation houses. Some complain of trash, nudity and loud music.

“They’re holding rock star-style parties,” said Hollywood resident Felice Schonfeld. The state doesn’t allow cities to ban these rentals and cities are limited in what they can do. But they are starting to act, after state lawmakers this past session failed to pass bills that would have further restricted a city’s regulatory powers.

Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach in the past month began restricting activities that they say make neighborhoods of single-family homes feel more like tourist districts. The new rules mirror those in Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Wilton Manors

They include requiring rentals to register with the city, tougher noise regulations, limits on the number of people who can stay overnight and specific prohibitions on parking on swales, or trying to cram cars into one area.

The party house problem was spurred by homeowners looking to earn some extra cash and using websites to market them. Thousands of South Florida homes come up on searches on these sites, including a Hillsboro Beach mansion available for $1,250 a night that sleeps 20.

“Within the last year, it’s really gotten to a point that we needed to do something about it,” said Deerfield Mayor Bill Ganz. He described the problem as “piles of trash outside, not picked up, five or six cars parked at one neighborhood house between 2 or 3 in the morning, a parade of Spring Breakers going in and out of a home in a residential neighborhood.”

“These are not vacation homes. They’re more like venues for debauchery,” said Patrick Quere, a Hollywood resident. “They come over here and trash our neighborhoods. These are not happy families from Wisconsin. The music, you can feel it in your bones.”

The rules have not uniformly worked, residents report. Only 52 of the suspected 785 vacation rentals in Hollywood have bothered to register in the year since the rules were put in place, city officials say.

In Fort Lauderdale, 377 homes are registered in a city estimated to have thousands of these rental houses. The commission recently lowered the cost of registering in hopes of getting more to comply.

Those who don’t register are trying to save money and stay under the radar, said Fort Lauderdale resident Bram Portnoy, whose company owns nine vacation rental homes in Hollywood — all of them registered.

“They avoid the $300 licensing fee and they are avoiding the 11 percent sales taxes charged by the state and county,” he said.

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has 61 single-family homes registered as short-term rentals, and city officials think they have most accounted for because of the priority the commission has put on the issue. Staff scour advertisements and neighbors alert the town when problems crop up, said Laura Connors, the town’s development director.

Now, the town is also expanding its regulations to buildings with two, three or four units within, regulating music and the hours when community pools can be used.

“What we want to do is make sure there’s a balance between the people who are coming to enjoy the town on vacation and for the people who live in the town to still enjoy living here,” Connors said. “As we know, you act differently when you’re on vacation than when you have to get up in the morning.”

Enforcement can be tricky, however. Decades ago, Boca Raton began requiring tenants in residential neighborhoods to sign at least a six-month lease.

So Debora Oster was surprised when a problem emerged in her Boca Harbour neighborhood. There was late-night partying, she said, and a rotating cast of characters coming and going.

“It was a good year before we could get them cited and before a code enforcement board,” Oster said.

Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis said not enough staff has been dedicated to the effort, considering the severity of the problem.

“It’s wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods,” he said. “It destroys the quality of life for which people pay good money to live in these beautiful homes in these beautiful neighborhoods.”

Hollywood officials are considering changing noise codes citywide to impose quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Pompano plans to prohibit outdoor musical performances at the registered short-term rentals.

Hollywood might begin requiring what Pompano and Deerfield have already included in their rules: an inspection of the house to verify compliance with the Florida Building Code and fire code; a home inspection every three years; and a 24-hour contact posted on the exterior of the building.

But even the town with the strictest rules, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, has problems, according to Charles Clark, a retired commissioner.

He said he has heard of naked girls on roofs, 20 people piled into a three- or four-bedroom house and partying all night.

Keith London, a Hallandale Beach commissioner, said he is familiar with the problem — he had two of them on his block.

“At midnight the cars would start rolling into my neighborhood,” he said. “They’d post it on social media, party at 1 a.m., and charge $40 a head.”

Since the crackdown, things have quieted down, he said.

“Now they’re renting the homes to real vacationers, not rave partiers,” London said. “Our ordinance has been somewhat effective.”

ageggis@sunsentinel.com,   561-243-6624, or  @AnneBoca.

sbryan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4554.    

Sun Sentinel    June 11, 2017

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