Spring is in full bloom, and so is the May 2017 Condo Association news roundup! This month features another highlight in the never-ending short-term rental war – two big stories related to the never-ending battle between Owners, neighbors, and community Associations. In San Francisco, a major lawsuit between Airbnb and the city was settled, further enabling rental services. However, in New York, the city filed a big lawsuit against an alleged abuser to prove a point. And to round everything out, we’ve also got a story on exactly what it takes to get ordered by a court to sell your Condo. Hint: it involves dog poop. Enjoy the May 2017 Condo Association news roundup!
Greg Bensinger, Wall Street Journal, 5/1/17
Silicon Valley is leading off on the latest round of the short-term rental battles. The city that is at the center of technology has reached a settlement with Airbnb and HomeAway. Airbnb and HomeAway alleged that a registration process that the city set up to help regulate short-term rentals was too onerous and restrictive to property owners. Under the settlement, Airbnb and HomeAway are able to register on behalf of property owners, rather than property owners needing to register directly. In theory, this will increase registrations and enforcement by having property owners only need to register once.
The settlement seems to be acceptable to both sides. The city believes this will help them better regulate short-term rental companies. The companies are happy because the registration process is reasonable and allows Airbnb in particular to clear up a pending lawsuit hanging over their head.
For some parts of the country, short-term rentals are here to stay. Does your Association have good policies for them?
Julia Marsh, New York Post, 5/15/17
While there may be a detente on short-term rentals in San Francisco, the Big Apple is turning up the heat. A big complaint in New York is that despite the ordinances regulating short-term rentals, very few fines have been levied even to the worst offenders. That changed when NYC filed a whopping $1.2M lawsuit against Rose King, a landlord who has allegedly used Airbnb against city laws in multiple buildings. While this is a great move for enforcement, there are still hundreds of illegal listings in NYC. Unless the city steps up enforcement regularly, chances are the behavior will continue. Perhaps NYC should look to San Francisco’s model of registrations?
Megan Batchelor, CBC News, 5/24/17
Some Condo Board and Owner disputes can get nasty, but this one sounds like one of the worst. Being forced to sell your Condo is a relatively rare occurrence, and one might often wonder what it would take for that to happen. Well, we now have the answer.
A couple was engaged in a lengthy court battle with their Condo Association. The couple had a restraining order against them that bound them to:
‘… stop communicating or visiting with, or uttering obscene, abusive or threatening comments to, members of the condo’s strata corporation, their families or guests. The pair were also restrained from vandalizing common property, yelling, screaming or singing past 8 p.m. and from leaving dog feces anywhere on the common property of the 95-unit building.’
This starts to shine some light on the story – particularly the dog feces part. After violating this restraining order, the court forced them to sell. In addition, the couple had over $3,400 in unpaid fines. So, as long as you don’t scream obscenities, leave dog poo everywhere, and sing late at night, you probably won’t be forced to sell.
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