Monthly Archives: June 2014

What exactly does grandfathering mean in your community?

In the community association setting, we often hear about certain things, people or practices being “grandfathered in” which basically means that new restrictions cannot apply in those instances.

The term “grandfather clause” has an ignominious past; it arose as a constitutional device used by some Southern states to deny voting rights to black Americans between 1895 and 1910 by exempting those people whose lineal descendants had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 from having to comply with latter-day voting requirements tied to education, income and real property ownership.

In today’s parlance, someone can be “grandfathered in” when it comes to owning a pet, driving a commercial vehicle, leasing out a home and more.

Why does the notion of grandfathering create strong emotions on both sides of the equation? 

For boards and association members wishing to enforce new restrictions which they feel are in the best interests of the community, it is important to know that the rules will apply equally to all. For people who bought in a community without certain restrictions, it can be unsettling to learn that your dog, vehicle or tenant is no longer welcomed.

In Florida several years ago, the Condominium Act was changed to provide that changes to leasing restrictions would only apply to existing owners who consented to such leasing amendment and to new owners who took title to their property after such amendment had already been recorded in the public records. Naturally, that legislative change has been met with some consternation over the years as boards and managers struggle with the administrative and practical challenges associated with some owners being restricted in terms of their ability to lease while others are not.

One of the biggest hurdles and misunderstandings associated with grandfathering is the time period during which the exemption should exist. For example, if a new pet restriction is passed, should current pet owners be entitled to keep only their current pet for its natural life expectancy or does that mean that subsequent pets can be maintained in the unit as well? The same question applies to rentals, vehicles and other use restrictions. Often people believe that it is the unit which is grandfathered and not a particular condition or situation. Pets, lease agreements and vehicles all have a “life span” of sorts.


Be sure to speak to your association attorney about how grandfathering should be handled when new restrictions are being considered in your community.



Housing Market Forecast

The housing market is beginning to roar back. Existing home sales have risen for two straight months after suffering declines since the summer months of last year. The pending contracts also show robust gains, implying home sales will further rise over the near term. Also there is sizable pent-up housing demand looking to emerge. The […]

Renewal Incentives For Landlords Who Want To Keep Good Tenants


Notice: Undefined variable: str in /home/rentprep/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sharebar/sharebar.php on line 199

So many articles for landlords focus on how to manage or get rid of bad tenants, but what about when your tenants are so good that you never want them to leave?  From paying on time to taking pride in the property, tenants who abide by the lease agreement and go the extra mile are […]

Read more on Renewal Incentives For Landlords Who Want To Keep Good Tenants

Can You Squeeze an Outdoor Retreat onto a Small Lot?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Builders increasingly are squeezing large, luxurious homes on smaller lots, at a time when home owners and home buyers say they crave outdoor retreats. While buyers say they want outdoor space, they also are motivated by the perk of less lawn maintenance, which smaller lots offer. Also, settling for a […]

Economic Forecast

The economy shrank big time in the first quarter.  However, there were many transitory temporary factors that passed through, which will begin to reverse in the upcoming quarters.  No recession is on the horizon.  The economic expansion, however, will not be remarkable.  Still, enough of economic juice and lagged impact on jobs assure that 2 […]

Can Landlords Change the Rules in Mid-Lease?


Notice: Undefined variable: str in /home/rentprep/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sharebar/sharebar.php on line 199

In the spring of 2014, a news story about a landlord in California garnered a lot of attention. The landlords had sent his tenants a notice that said each tenant needed to prove that their income was at or above a certain amount and have a certain credit score or else they would have to […]

Read more on Can Landlords Change the Rules in Mid-Lease?

Investors and International Buyers More Likely to Pay Cash

Approximately 32 percent of respondents reported cash sales in May (same as in April), according to the May 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index [1]. A substantial number of move-up buyers, investors, buyers of second homes, and foreign clients are likely to pay cash. REALTORS® reported that high income earners, especially those working in the technology sector, are […]

A More Detailed Examination of Recent Case-Shiller Price Data

Earlier this week, we examined the FHFA and Case-Shiller releases focusing on national data trends. Today, we’ll dig a bit deeper to look at more local data at the regional and city or MSA level. Monthly FHFA releases data at the Census division level and quarterly it releases state and metro area data. Case-Shiller offers data […]

Brooklyn Tenants Sue Landlord, Claiming Discrimination


Notice: Undefined variable: str in /home/rentprep/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sharebar/sharebar.php on line 199

Several tenants living in a Brooklyn apartment complex have joined a federal discrimination lawsuit against their landlord, claiming that the landlord is attempting to force them out, according to a recent article in the Brooklyn Eagle. Case Details The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include eleven current or former tenants and two community groups.  They claim […]

Read more on Brooklyn Tenants Sue Landlord, Claiming Discrimination

REALTORS® Confidence Eases in May

Confidence about current market conditions was essentially unchanged in May 2014 compared to April, according to the May 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index. An index above 50 indicates that more REALTORS® view housing conditions as “strong” compared to those who view it as “moderate” or “weak” [1]. Confidence about the outlook for the next six months […]