Despite the Association’s Leasing Policies, prohibiting short term leasing and AirBnB type hotel use of Park Tower residences, a unit was being advertised online as available and rented at least once by the units renter. The Association’s Rules and Regulations Committee will consider the matter first, as they are responsible for reviewing each alleged case. In three separate situations in the past, they recommended the Board of Directors fine the respective Unit Owners. At Board Meetings to follow, the Board considered each case and the Committee’s recommendations and decided the violations were serious enough to warrant the toughest fine specified by the Association’s Rules, of $1000.
Units engaging in short term occupancy such as this, are in violation of the Association’s leasing procedures. It is also argued the transiency this promotes results in excessive wear and tear and poses a security risk. Not only that, the building is not zoned to allow such business activity, and a clause in the Declaration does prohibit use of units for Commercial purposes. While many interpret this clause differently, it is argued that turning a Condo into a hotel room is engaging in the very Commercial activity this clause is intended to prohibit.
And Management agrees – particularly as it relates to security. Services such as AirBnB have very little reasonable vetting process for prospective clients and traffic entering the building. A residential high rise such as PT was not intended to handle such traffic – just imagine if the units were actually hotel rooms. And in theory, if the Board allows one unit to participate with AirBnB, every unit could be entitled. Not only that, it makes neighbors uncomfortable. The present particular case and one past case, were brought to the Association’s attention through reports and complaints from neighbors frequently. This included one report of the neighbor seeing new faces coming in and out next door, which could be troubling for many residents.
The message from the PTCA Board and Management – DON’T DO IT! Park Tower condos are homes, not hotel rooms.
Here is more about the prohibition of such services, from a past post.
Past Post – July 18, 2016:
Promoting and advertising “home sharing” and short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway, or otherwise providing services for transient occupancy are not allowed under the present rules at Park Tower.
A City Ordinance was passed on June 22 which supports such a prohibition. The PTCA Board may consider joining a list of properties and units which would be specifically prohibited under the provisions of this ordinance. The City will be maintaining the list, and this would purportedly prevent services such as Airbnb to promote or advertise listings at this address. Now that the ordinance is in place, the PTCA Board might formally consider this at a future meeting.
Among other things, the ordinance labels such units which do participate as “short term rentals” and requires people who list them to be licensed. In condo buildings where they are allowed it permits rules to set limits on the number of units, requires an affidavit confirming a short term rental is allowed under the buildings governing documents, and limits the number of units which could be rented at any time. It also put taxes and fees in place which some would say may act to put the ice on this growing rental/home sharing fad.
For PTCA, the ordinance provides back up to rules already in place. Short term rentals are already prohibited by our rules, and present language in our governing documents is intended to prevent the type of transiency promoted by Airbnb and other such services.
The most recent policies enacted with regard to leasing at PTCA were passed last year. The complete list of Rules and Regulations can be found from pages 36 to 38 in the PTCA Handbook.
From The Park Tower Rules and Regulations Handbook:
Unit owners shall advise the association of their intention to lease a unit and provide a copy of any executed lease to the management office. The association will not become involved in the selection process and shall only facilitate the completion of mandatory requirements such as a completed Sale or Lease Procedures packet and applications, credit checks, elevator and parking agreements, collection of fees, etc.
Prospective tenants may not move in until all requirements specified in the Sales or Lease Procedures packet are met. All new residents are also required to attend the New Resident Committee meeting and will not be entitled to several privileges until such requirement is met.
Additional information is available from the management office.
Owners shall inform management in writing of interest in renting out a unit not currently leased. If at that time the percentage of rental units is less than 30%, the Association will allow a lease to be entered into. Should the percentage of rental units at that time be equal to or higher than 30%, the owner will be placed on a wait-list, maintained by management. Management will inform the owner of the status of the request within 10 calendar days.
When the target percentage is reached (below 30%), the owner at the top of the list will be informed the unit may be rented. The owner must respond within 10 days of a desire to lease or management will move on to the next person on the list. Such an owner will have six months during which to purchase a unit for rental purposes, if not already purchased, or to rent out a unit already owned. Once in possession of a unit intended for rental, the right to rent for another six months may be retained so long as it can be demonstrated the unit is either being actively renovated or a tenant is being sought. Once rented out, the owner of that unit can continue renting it out without regard for the 30% rule.
Owners intending to become new landlords shall have lived in the building (whether as renters or as owners) for the two years preceding the request to lease the unit. The new landlord, after fulfilling the percentage and residency requirements, may rent out the unit either in which they have lived or another unit which they already own.
Owners renting out specific units, at the time of the implementation of this policy, are “grandfathered” owners and may continue to rent these units to either current or future renters, irrespective of rental percentages. If an already rented unit is sold, after the implementation of this policy, the new owner may continue to rent to the lessee occupying the unit before the time of sale without regard to the 30% rule, but the new owner will then be subject to both to the 30% rule and a 2-year residency requirement when that lessee moves out. An owner intending to purchase and/or rent a unit not previously rented out will be subject both to the 30% rule and a 2-year residency requirement.
Original leases will be for a two-year period, with opt-out privileges by which either landlord or tenant can forgo the second year by giving the other party 60 days’ notice prior to the one year anniversary. (Any provision for increasing the rent for the second year should have either been written into the original lease or made clear to the tenant by a similar notice 60 days prior.)
The Board may grant permission to a resident owner to lease a unit without having satisfied the residency or percentage requirements due to hardship. Requests for a hardship exception shall be sent to management in writing.
Leasing of a unit in violation of the proposed rental policy may result in a fine of up to $1,000 per month upon the unit being leased.” (end)
If you have any questions about these or any other Rules and Regulations related to leasing at Park Tower, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail.