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Jacksonville Legal Blog

Minimize condo association headaches during spring break

For much of the country, spring break means a welcome respite from a long winter and a brief escape to warmer climates. Florida remains a top destination despite the damage wrought by a devastating hurricane season. Nearly three million tourists are expected to flood Florida between March and April.

For condo owners and managers, however, spring break often means increased headaches: vandalism, trespassing, burglary, property damage and noise complaints, to name a few. So what can condo owners’ associations (COAs) and managers do to prepare for an influx of visitors?

Review the community’s security measures

With so many new faces around the community, it can be easy for uninvited “visitors” to slip in unnoticed. Those with nefarious intentions can create trouble for everyone. They might be looking for unlocked doors to swipe valuables, free access to a pool or workout facility, or even a vacant place to party.

If your community has security measures in place, such as a secured entry or video surveillance, ensure that they’re working properly. Consider asking residents to provide guest lists. Remind residents to lock their doors and avoid security risks such as propping doors open or letting strangers into secured areas. These measures can help prevent spikes in crime that ruin spring break for the people who live here.

Enforce prohibitions on vacation rentals

March and April are lucrative months for vacation rentals. Owners may be tempted to get away from the commotion while pocketing a nice profit by renting out their units to vacationers. However, many condo communities prohibit short-term rentals – and for good reason. If your bylaws don’t allow vacation rentals, gently remind all owners of that fact, and follow up on potential violations.

Clearly post community rules for all guests and residents to see

The best way to avoid noise complaints and other nuisances is to make sure that guests and residents alike are aware of the rules. Post them conspicuously in common areas. Consistently enforce rules regarding quiet times, pool use and other common elements all year long – not just during spring break. That way, you won’t create an expectation of leniency.

By following these tips, you can help make spring break more enjoyable, or at least more tolerable, for everyone.

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