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Does condo have to honor renewal clause of lease which they approved?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

8 months ago, the condo where I live approved a 7 month lease with a clearly stated automatic renewal clause which states that a new tenancy of 3 months is created at the natural expiration of the lease, under the same terms of the original lease. Now they say that they do not have to honor this renewal clause because the rules do not allow for lease extensions. Considering they already, in writing, approved the lease in question, don't they have to honor it? Also, I've been told that FL law allows for "reasonable", not "arbitrary" rules in condos; does anyone know where in state statute that can be found?

Attorney Answers 1


If the condo docs prohibit lease renewals, then they can legitimately deny the automatic renewal if there is a reasonable basis for this. Sometimes it is to keep down the number of rentals because too many rentals causes the condo to lose eligibility for FHA financing of mortgages. The law on reasonableness is not a statute, but case law or judge made law. The courts have established this law.

You will need to hire a condo lawyer to assist you if you plan of fighting this. There are special rules which apply and require the dispute to be submitted to arbitration after providing notice.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at

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Unfortunately, there is no reasonable basis to deny the renewal, being a long-standing tenant, I have priority for leasing and they are not over the percentage allowed. What dictates whether a case goes to court and a jury trial vs. arbitration? I believe some condo disputes do go to trial; another resident won a large jury verdict recently.

Barbara Billiot Stage

Barbara Billiot Stage


The statute, 718.1255 identifies the types of disputes which are subject to arbitration and any which are not listed are brought into county or circuit court. Rental restrictions are usually arbitrated, which is faster and less expensive. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation does not have jurisdiction to hear any case that involves personal damages. Depending on what you consider a large jury verdict, I would think it may be a rumor, which happens in all association cases. A $2,000 award quickly gets rumored to be $200,000. Unless there is a physical injury these cases do not have big awards for damages. The prevailing party is entitled to attorneys' fees, which can be $100,000 - $200,000 by the time the trial is held. A man in Tampa was recently awarded damages for his HOA installing St. Augustine grass in his yard when he refused to do so (Florida Friendly statute now prohibits HOAs from allowing you to use drought tolerant grasses) and last I heard he was waiting for his hearing to award attorneys fees, which were $220,000 for a six year battle. Very rarely do you get 100% of attorneys' fees and his attorneys' fees were much higher than his damages.



Actually, the large jury verdict (more than 100k) is on file with the county and I viewed it myself online. The matter I was inquiring about is related to attempted ejection of tenant and based on the info online that type of matter would not be subject to arbitration.

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