Welcome to the world of HOA's. Your first sentence is the clincher here, "I am renting my condo..." First of all most Associations are very specific when it comes to the manner in which you may or may not have anyone besides you the legal owner use the condo. This will be in the docs which you "by law" had to have prior to closing. Some allow one lease per year and some up to 12 leases per year. Each time the new occupant (regardless of relation to you) must fill out an application for a fee (usually $100.00 for the time it takes to do a background check for anyone applying for a lease regardless of the term now).
Your only recourse will be in the terminology within your condo docs, the way you use your own terminology with respect to the people using the condo, and/or the length of time they use it. Most HOA's view terms less than 30 days as non-lease usage. However, please understand these rules are for your protection and for the full protection of others rights within the community.
If I were you, I would play the safe card of "sweet and unaware" as opposed to the "you'll be hearing from my attorney". HOA's can be pretty tough with fines and fees if they want to be. Hope this helps a little bit. I guess you need to increase the "usage for the summer to cover my utilities fee" in order to cover the "we can charge you as much as we can whenever our bylaws tell us we can" lease fee as well.
Sarah Garrett, Realtor
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Unfortunately, you are subject to the CCR and by-laws of the association, as they are governing documents for your condo. Definitely pull out your condo docs and review the CCR they stated you violated, as well as any other documents pertaining to renting the property out!
I would suggest a civil approach first- possibly a certified letter to the board of directors of the condo association to see if they would allow an exemption for a short term lease to families. They don't have to if the condo docs support what they are voilating you for, but given the current economy they might.
If the HOA docs say that you are to have the renter approved prior to moving in, through an application process and application fee, and your family didnt, your family could be kicked out unfortunately.. We had that here, and luckily it was just a $50 fee and the applicant passed.. None of our associations charge leasing fees, so I don't know about how much the fee is or how t's justified under the community association docs.
the best course of action is to take the notice and the condo docs to an attorney, or possibly email them to one!. below is a link to some FL real estate laws, hopefully that is helpful to you! Good luck with this