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Lease controls could affect values

Question: Our governing documents have just been amended to read as follows: All leases, sub-leases or assignments and renewals of leases shall be first submitted to the association for approval or disapproval . . . No unit may be rented for more than a total of nine months in any 12-month period . . .

I think this restriction has essentially destroyed the value of my unit, which has been a reasonably good investment over the years. What are your comments? _ New Port Richey

Answer: You might be right. Establishing your building as a rental for short-term and transient visitors rather than a stable residential community may well influence the insurability, the mortgageability and the market values.

I do like the idea of requiring a lessee application and investigation, and I hope that your association will require a third-party lease that gives the association greater control over uncooperative lessees.

Pool use by infants

Question: Are there any local, state or federal rules governing the use of association swimming pools by infants? _ Spring Hill

Answer: Except for construction requirements, safety standards and public health department inspections, I know of no state or federal restrictions. Many associations have no restrictions as long as the infants are held by responsible adults.

Some require that infants wear a diaper tightly covered by a plastic liner with elastic edging. Others say that infants may use no flotation devices. Those associations having wading pools for infants and small children often do prohibit infants from using the deep-water pool even if they are with the parents.

Parking in "open' spots

Question: In addition to the parking spaces assigned to each unit in our association, there are a number of unmarked, unassigned spaces, which are used for guest parking. The rules have permitted the board of directors the power to grant a 14-day variance to unit owners who may temporarily need extra parking to use these places also.

The board has now voted to strike the 14-day variance and allow any unit owner or tenant with more than one car to park in the "'open"' spots. Can common property be so used? _ Belleair

Answer: Assuming that the spaces are common elements ofthe condominium and are not specifically restricted to guest parking in the official plot plan or the declaration, I see no reason why the board cannot change a board-made rule. As I think you are finding out, having the power to change the rule does not mean that it will always be politically acceptable.

Jack Holeman is a longtime condominium manager, owner and board member. He welcomes your questions. Write to Jack Holeman, Condo Line, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Sorry, he can't take phone calls or provide personal replies by mail, but you can E-mail him at holemanusit.net.

For specific legal advice, contact an association attorney or call the state Bureau of Condominium office in Tallahassee at (800) 226-9101 or (850) 488-0725 or call the Tampa bureau at (800) 226-6028 or (813) 744-6149. Or write to the Bureau of Condominium, Correspondence Unit, 725 S Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1033.

You can access the Bureau of Condominium web site at (http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr/html/ lsc/copage.html).

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