Non-Owner Residents A Look at Who Can Occupy Your Unit

Aside from yourself, who exactly may live in your condo or co-op unit? While you as the owner might believe you have the sole authority to make that decision, most (if not all) condominium and co-op properties today have policies spelled out in their governing documents that determine the answer to that question. 

“In condominiums,” says Ken Direktor, an attorney specializing in common interest community law with Becker & Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale, “these restrictions are typically found in the declaration. In co-ops, they’re in the bylaws, rules or proprietary lease.”

The Nature of Restrictions

According to Direktor, “These restrictions tend to fall into the following four categories: The first sets a minimum and maximum term for leases. The more important of the two is the minimum lease term, because it sets a baseline for how frequently you can lease.” Typical minimums are three to six months, and the maximum is usually one year.

The second component, explains Direktor, “is a restriction on how frequently you can lease your unit. Most restrict you to once in a 12-month period.” What that effectively means is that if you lease your unit for one year, and one month into the lease your tenant leaves, you will not be able to lease again for 11 months.

A third common restriction, Direktor continues, “prevents you from leasing for a specific period of time from when you took title.” For example, you cannot lease out your unit for the first year after you purchase. This rule is designed to encourage owner occupancy. 

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