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Q&A:Establishing a Rental Cap?

Establishing a Rental Cap? Q I live in a condo, and the board is trying to establish a rental cap in the building's rules and regulations, instead of making the change in the condo's bylaws. Does the board have the power to do this, or does such a change have to be made in the bylaws. What does state law say about this?

—Legally Bound

A “The short answer is that the creation of such a restriction to cap the number of rental units in a condominium would likely need to be accomplished by an amendment to the condominium documents ( i.e. master deed or declaration and trust or bylaws) which would require the consent of the unit owners,” says attorney Janet Aronson of the law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C., in Braintree, MA.

“State condominium laws do not contain any provisions which pertain to the rental of units. The board’s authority to create rules and regulations that govern the use of the units in general is very limited and often dependent upon the provisions that exist in the underlying condominium documents, i.e. the master deed or declaration and trust or bylaws. If there is underlying provision in the condominium documents, then the board may have authority to create such a rule.

“That said, the establishment of a cap on the number of rental units in a condominium is not a typical provision that exists in most condominium documents. Therefore, assuming that there is no underlying provision in the condominium documents, the creation of a rule and relegation to establish such a restriction on the use of unit would not be valid. This should be distinguished from the board’s authority to create rules and regulations which govern the use and details of operation of the common areas of the condominium. In most cases, the board’s authority to create reasonable rules and regulations to govern the use and operation of the common areas is very broad and absolute.”

 

Comments

  • Are there any alternatives for establishing a rental limit other than amendment to the bylaws which requires two-thirds of owner approval? We failed to pass a rental amendment early on and now we are slowly getting overriden with more and more rentals. This is having an effect on our ability to establish rules & regulations that are not supported by the owners who rent their units.