Yesterday I received a call from a condo-hotel owner, who has been fighting with the Condo-owners Association for years now. This year he plans on ousting one of the Board Members and becoming the Member of the Board of Directors.
What is the biggest change he would like to bring as a new Board Member if he wins?
He said it was to allow the owners rent long term and “do whatever they wanted”.
I disappointed him. I said that this was a very bad idea, and the consequences would be devastating.
We have witnessed exactly this “freedom” in this particular condo-hotel a little more than a decade ago. Owners were renting long term and in terms of rental could pretty much “do whatever they wanted”.
It was a disaster.
When the new (at the time) Board took over, they made a conscious decision to get rid of long-term rentals. It wasn’t easy, there were many unhappy owners, but eventually they were able to bring the resort back to life, make it a functional condo-hotel, where guests were coming and staying.
Here is why it is a bad idea.
· The caller believes that month-to-month gives the Board more control, while it is simply the payment arrangement. It is not about the quality of tenants.
· People who rent month-to-month are usually single men, who are not really stable with their lives and their jobs. Here today, gone tomorrow.
· The reason they rent condo-hotels is because they usually make arrangements on paying weekly. It is cheap, fully furnished, and it is right on the Atlantic Ave, so they may not even need a car to get to work to local hotels and restaurants.
· Long-term means cooking in the units. Imagine the odors in a hotel.
· They often (if not always) spend time in a local bar and then try to navigate to their rooms scaring the hell out of the guests. I remember tourists coming to the Front desk and demanding their deposit back, as they had no intention to stay there after encountering the reality of a hotel, where people lived.
· Needless to say that there were problems with drugs, prostitution, and the Police were there often if not daily.
This is not my fantasy, this is how it was. By their very set up, condo-hotels are vacation rentals, and long-term is not right for them.
The caller wasn’t happy with my response. He was giving me examples of other condo-hotels, where people rented long-term, but I did not want to argue with him. All his examples were of even crappier condo-hotels, that his is. Does it make sense to implement changes to become worse?
I am not even touching on the legality of long-term leases in condo-hotels. For condo-hotels, licensed as Transient facilities, it may not even be an option, even if now Daytona Beach is not enforcing their ordinance in this regard. One day this would bite.
My caller insisted that they would be kicking out unwanted elements, so this would assure quality tenants.
No, if the owners would be renting long-term, and it would be allowed, then the Association would have little to no control. It would be between the owners and the tenants. Background checks mean nothing, they are not about the quality of tenants in condo-hotels, they are more about CYA for property managers.
Last year I was helping a Canadian owner in a case with a long-term tenant, where the landlord got in trouble with the Board. He needed to get rid of the tenant. The tenant was not paying anyway, so what was the big deal evicting the tenant, who is not paying the rent? We got the right attorney involved and have evicted him in record 3 weeks.
Well, it cost the owner, plus, until he was evicted, the guy became unruly.I believe the resort could not rent units next to this unit because of his behavior. But eviction in 3 weeks was the record time. The owners may experience much longer times to get tenants evicted.
If this is my caller's best idea, and he wins the fight, the resort would lose a battle. They eventually would have to change it in the future and put a lot of effort to bring it to where it is now.I am afraid he is raging the worng war.
Dear new members of the Board/s. Do not invent a bicycle. Square whels would not make it a faster ride.
Long-term rentals are a bad idea for Daytona condo-hotels.
Buyers. Be cautious with agents, who tell you that you can do whatever you want in a condo-hotel.
*First published on my website