Are Owners Limited On What Kind Of Tenants They Can Have?

Here is a question I received about tenants, and my thoughts:

“I’m considering renting out my condo, which is permitted by our Bylaws. Does the law preclude me from not renting it to a certain class of tenants such as college students or a certain age of tenants such as 18-25?”

I do not know of any law that prohibits an owner from renting to the kinds of persons that you describe. I would want to review the documents first if I was asked to give an opinion about whether there are any restrictions that would apply.

Age restrictions can cause issues. Prohibiting rental to college students, if documents were amended (by owner approval) to say that, might fly, but it is not something I would recommend to an HOA or Condo Association.

As an example of oddities like this, there was a case made in Florida some years in favor of a CC&R restriction that prevented selling to (or residency of? I cannot remember for sure) attorneys. An attorney challenged the prohibition and lost. As I recall it, the court decided that attorneys were not a “protected class” under the Constitution and thus, the restriction was not discriminatory. This would make me think that a prohibition on college students might be upheld.

On the other hand, I believe that if an HOA or Condo Association is experiencing problems with college students, it should attack the “problems”, not the “class”. There are college students who are studious and good tenants. And there are 18-25 year olds that are not students that are obnoxious as well.

Still, I get the question all the time from Board members whose associations are located in college or university towns: “Can we amend our documents to prohibit renting to college students.” Likewise, I often get the question : “Can we restrict renters?”

That’s another thing. See my website at www.californiacondoguru.com, the main page, for the answer to that question.

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