Bush backs rights of condo owners
He signs two bills that protect owners' rights in fights with condo boards.
Article Courtesy of the Florida Times Union
Faced with a choice of two new laws to strengthen the rights of home and condominium owners, Gov. Jeb Bush signed both Wednesday and ended a part-time Amelia Island couple's four-year crusade for such laws.
Bush signed both SB 1184 and SB 2984, which safeguard a list of rights long sought by residents during struggles with homeowner or condominium associations. For example, the bills preserve any rights of condo owners to rent their unit that exist at the time of purchase, therefore barring any association board of directors from removing those rights unfairly.
But such rights would be preserved only for as long as the person owned the unit, and subsequent owners would be subject to the new rental rules. One of the bills Bush signed also establishes a state ombudsman to referee disputes between residents and condo associations.
Steve and Judy Comley had waged a public relations battle over the rental rights to their 2,300-square-foot Amelia Island condo. The couple, who live on the island during the winter, bought the unit in June 1996 to live in seasonally and for its potential rental income. A board of directors that oversees their condo association voted to prohibit short-term rentals starting in 2000.