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Vacation Rentals and Community Association Omnibus Bill

As a reminder, we want to direct all our CALL members to Becker’s COVID-19 webpage which is an excellent resource for information updated daily on the impact of the virus on community associations. Click here to visit the website.

And, for those of you looking for some non COVID-19 related news, we are happy to provide the following update regarding two bills we have been closely tracking during the 2020 session.  We’re pleased to announce that both Short-Term Vacation Rental Bills and the Omnibus Bill did not pass this session. This is great news as they were not in a format that was entirely association-friendly.

Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Neither of the two bills aimed at regulating short-term rentals made it through Committee. You may recall that these bills proposed to preempt the regulation of vacation rentals to the state by prohibiting local laws and ordinances on short-term vacation rentals. While our advocacy campaign last year and over the course of this session ensured there was an exemption for private residential regulations, we were ultimately pleased that the status quo remains intact. Namely, any restrictions on short term rentals, including minimum lease terms and other provisions in the governing documents, will not be affected. With that said, the summer months are an opportunity to amend your documents to include restrictions that specifically address the short-term rental business model so that if a version of these bills is revived next year you will be prepared. On a related note, in this climate of anxiety regarding transmission of COVID-19, we are finding that those communities that already have useful short-term rental restrictions in place have more authority to minimize  their residents’ exposure to outside guests.

Omnibus Bill

In another previous CALL Alert, we reported on the many changes proposed to the Omnibus Bill, HB 623.  While it looked like this bill was gaining momentum, it did fail on the last day of session. This means that none of the proposed amendments to the Condominium Act (Chapter 718), Homeowners Association Act (Chapter 720) and the Cooperative Act (Chapter 719) will become law. Nor did any of the amendments to Chapter 712, the Marketable Record Title Act regarding discriminatory provisions pass. We cannot predict, particularly under current circumstances, what will be the priority in 2021, but as always CALL will advocate throughout the year for those bills which best protect our community association members.

To this end, please stay tuned for the release of our 2020 Legislative Guidebook which will summarize what did and did not pass as well as provide tips about the operational changes you need to implement. Please also keep an eye out for updates regarding our post-session CALL Townhalls. While these have been temporarily postponed, we are aiming to have things back on track this summer.  In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones good health and remind you to rely on your Becker attorneys for everything you need to know about COVID-19 and all other issues of importance to your community.

Donna DiMaggio Berger

Donna DiMaggio Berger

Contact: dberger@beckerlawyers.com

Donna DiMaggio Berger is a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), a prestigious national organization that acknowledges community association attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the evolution or practice of community association law and who have committed themselves to high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of community association law. Ms. Berger is also one of only 129 attorneys statewide who is a Board Certified Specialist in Condominium and Planned Development Law.