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Vacationing at a Condo in Florida

Updated on March 28, 2019

The simple Do's and Don't when staying at a condo while on vacation in Florida

It may be your first time staying at a condo or you may be a well traveled guest. Regardless of which one you are, you should know that there are some very simple, common sense tips to make your vacation a pleasant one. Not just for you and your family, but also for other guest and the people that live at the condominium complex you are staying at.

Generally, there are people that live full time in their condos. There are also those that have purchased a condo as a way to generate income as well as for their own personal use from time to time.

You may not realize that most condominiums belong to an HOA. They also have HOA rules that apply not only to those that live there year round, but also to the guests that are there on vacation. Owners that rent out their condos also have their own "in house" rules. Such as what is required for you to do when you check out, etc.. Those are completely different from the HOA rules.

I have seen and had to deal with, far too many times, guests that show up to enjoy their vacations on our sugar white beaches here in Florida, only to spend half their time either fighting with staff or owners that live there and even on occasion, other guests. Why? Because some guests have the idea that since they spent X amount of dollars to stay in a condo on the beach, that they do not have to follow the rules.

We have a saying around here. When some guests go on vacation they leave their brains at home!

The pool

Some guests actually take time to read the rules that are posted in each rental condo, as well as the pool rules on the pool deck. They understand that the rules are in place for a reason. Simple common sense rules like no glass in the pool or on the pool deck. Why? Because if anyone were to break a beer bottle or anything else of that nature, then the pool must be shut down, completely drained and cleaned out. Why? So no one cuts their feet then turns around and sues the condominium complex. There is usually no food or beverages allowed in the pool either. Why? Because the pool is considered a commercial pool and is most often inspected by their local health department and there are rules and guidelines set down by the health department that anyone with a commercial pool must follow. If not, they will be fined and depending on the violation, they may be shut down. Most often than not, pool bands are also required. These are used by owners and guests alike. Why? So the owners that live there as well as the staff know that you are a guest there on that property. There are always those that try to be slick and just walk off the beach and try to utilize the pool. They are easy to spot if they are not wearing a pool band. Per the health department, a pool of a particular size is only allowed to have a certain number of bathers in it for safety reasons. If the pool is only allowed to have 20 people in it at a time and there are 25 people in it and NO ONE is wearing a pool band, how is the staff supposed to know who is a paying guest? The pool operator then can make everyone get out, or at the very least everyone without a pool band, or shut down the pool. Those are the only options. Then you have some angry guests to deal with. All because some guests don't want to follow the rules.

Your pets

Most condos don't allow pets, unless they belong to an owner. If you happen to be lucky enough to find a place that allows pets, please PICK UP AFTER THEM! There is always a pet area that is set up with a pet waste station as well as a doggie bag dispenser. Please use it. If you just let your dog out for it to go somewhere in a common area and you don't pick it up then that just leads to other guests and owners complaining about it. Which in time may cause the complex to no longer allow pets.

The staff

The HOA rules as well as the rules and guidelines set down by the health department aren't there to make guests miserable. They are there to ensure the safety of owners and guests. If you just follow the simple rules then the staff won't have to contact you to discuss the rules with you. The staff doesn't go around picking on random people for no reason. They generally only make contact with a guest if an owner or another guest has complained to them about YOU or a member of your parties behavior or if they see you not complying with the rules. Believe me, when the staff have to explain the rules over and over again 500 times a day to half drunk, belligerent guests they can get a little irritated. If you just follow the rules, the staff won't have to say anything to you other than good morning and good bye. You won't get the reputation of being "one of those" guests and you won't go on the "do not rent to" list.

Also, for those that didn't already know....If you read your rental contract, it should state on it that violating or not complying with the rules could be grounds for removal from the property. In essence, if you break the rules or refuse to comply, you break your rental agreement and you can be removed from the property. It doesn't matter if you've been there for 3 hours or 3 days.

OMG, NOT THOSE PEOPLE! Word gets around....

Do we have a do not rent to list here in Florida? Yes and no. If a guest is breaking rules left and right and the staff have already had more than one or two talks with them regarding the rules, then the owner can be fined up to $100 for each violation. It has to go before a fining committee and they will determine if a fine is warranted and how much the fine should be. I promise you though, once an owner starts getting hit in the wallet or starts getting phone calls and complaints from other owners then they won't rent to that particular guest anymore. It just isn't worth the headache to them and they know it will always rent out to someone else.For many owners that rent their condos out, this is not just about breaking the rules. They have the mindset that if you don't have enough respect for the PROPERTY or the HOA to follow the rules, then they worry about how you will treat their condo.

Be courteous

Be courteous of other guests and the people that live there.The other guests payed X amount of money just like you did to enjoy their vacation.

Also, please keep in mind that the staff work very hard to keep the property clean so that you will enjoy your stay while you are there and want to come back.

So, regardless of where you plan on vacationing, just make it easier on everyone all the way around and just read and follow the rules. It really isn't that hard to do.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 yvonne heflin


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