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MDLawyer
MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6128
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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I am currently a resident at Marina Bay Condominium in

Customer Question

I am currently a resident at Marina Bay Condominium in Panama City, FL 32409. We are leasing unit 303 from my mother-in-law with plans to buy wishin the next year. My husband's brother lived here and passed away and so my husband and I along with his mom decided this would be a good fit for us and our 16 year old daughter now. My mother-in-law, father-in-law, and our uncle live in this complex and they are all in their mid 80's. We decided it would be best place to be as they day to day living will or could be compromised in which they needed assistance with different aspects of activities of daily living. My husband and I put up $12,000.00 to assist in the remodel of this place and we have paid my mother-in-law faithfully $1500.00 per month to cover the mortgages until we were financially in a position to buy this unit. Our initial agreement was to take over the primary mortgage of $160,000.00 and she stated she would take care of the equity loan of about $60,000.00 as it would not be fair for us to pay for the equity loan. We didn't ask her to do this but she insisted. A year later now and we are being forced out of our home due to a couple of situations in which the condo association was complete violation of federal housing laws under familial status. The biggest incident was when my son, daughter-in-law, and my 16 month old granddaughter visited. They were in the pool and she had on swim pants. We were first told by a couple of resident ladies who were in the pool she couldn't be in the pool because of the "no diapered children rule". We stated she didn't have a diaper on but was told by Bob Gardner the acting manager at this condominium she had to get out. When we contested and stated she didn't have a diaper on, he stated, "the pool will be shut down tomorrow morning". After we left, people remained in the pool. I had to go to a doctors appointment the next day but got a text from my daughter-in-law stating the pool was yellow taped off and closed. We called the office right before it closed and spoke with Bob about the situation and that had there been an immediate threat to anyone going in the pool IF my granddaughter had had an accident involving fecal content then the pool would have needed to be shut down immediately and not the next morning. I can better explain the rest via phone. My number is(###) ###-####
Thank you,
Irene Machelle Lokerson
My address:
1600 Marina Bay Drive
Unit 303
Panama City, FL 32409
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hello Irene and thank you for using the Just Answer website. Before I can assist you, I need to know what legal information you are seeking.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Renters legal rights under the Federal housing laws regarding familial status
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

And what is your question, exactly? Are you wanting to know whether having a rule that no diapered children are allowed in the pool is illegal?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
This is only one example of discrimination of familial status under federal housing laws. I'm I right in this? I've done much research and it appears some of the rules are not under the guidelines of federal fair housing laws. Am I correct in my research and what have derived from my research? We are basically being forced out of this condominium complex due disputing the validity of these rules made up by the condo association board rules. I cannot see how this is legal.
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

Yes, you are correct that having a rule saying that children who aren't potty trained are not allowed has been found by various courts to be in violation of the Fair Housing Act. See, for example, Leonard v. Seaboard Arbor Management Services, Inc. (HUD ALJ 04-91-0931), The judge required the association to change its rule prohibiting all babies and children not fully potty trained from entering or being carried into the pool, to the following: "Any person who is incontinent or not fully potty trained must wear appropriate waterproof clothing when entering or being carried into the pool."

What do you mean when you say that you are being forced out?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Being forced to move because my husband's mother and father feel as though if we don't like the rules then we need to leave. I am almost positive there has been perception placed on my in laws that characterize my husband and I as 'problem tenants'. It has caused a huge amount of animosity between my husband and I and his parents. The irony of it all is that the acting manager who demanded we remove my granddaughter from the pool because we were in violation of the condo association's rules opened the pool within an hour after my husband and I spoke with him via phone on our way back home. I mentioned before that we basically called him out on his poor choice of his actions that held no validity since the pool was closed the next morning in order to "shock it with chlorine" and not immediately after my son and daughter-in-law took my granddaughter out of the pool. Let me say that my in laws are 85 and 87 years of age. Our uncle is 85 years of age. Our only purpose of moving here from Pensacola, FL away from my children was to assist them as needed during the elder years. Now my mother-in-law wants us to move and basically pressuring my husband to buy a home in the nearby community and doing it in a way that one would think she's being generous. We both, my husband and I, feel as though we are being forced out of our home because we called this controlling manager out on an inappropriate action he took that we knew was not legal. Other things as well have trad pored since this incident. Yes a part of me just wants to get outta here but we have family here who will need our assistance in the up and coming years. I'm really confused as to what to do.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Regarding the diaper and pool incident, is it grounds for a law suit even if we are no longer tenants? If so, what is it likely to avail us?
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

With respect to your in-laws, since it is them pressuring you to leave and not the condo association, then you would not have any action against the condo association on that basis. Any action regarding the pool rules would have to be taken against the condo association. It appears that you have two different issues. The only one which is illegal is the rules of the condo pool. With respect to your in-law, they have the legal right, if they are the owners of the condo, to choose whether or not to rent to you and so, unfortunately, there is no legal recourse there and even if there was, I'm sure you would not want to take legal action against your in-laws. Please let me know what additional information you need.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

If there is no additional legal information that you need and I have answered your initial question in a professional manner, please be so kind as to leave a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get credited and compensated for the time spent researching and answering your questions since we are not Just Answer employees.

Thank you in advance for your positive review and for allowing me to assist you yesterday and today.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We will be living here for at least another 3 to 6 months, so this pool rule will continue to affect us until we move. What legal recourse may we pursue against the condo association regarding the pool rules? (Incidentally, as a sidebar, the condo association excludes access to anyone under 18 or minor children.) Once we move do we still have legal recourse to affect rule changes and sue for damages? If so, is there a statue of limitations?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry....incidentally, as a sidebar, the condo association excludes access to community gym to anyone under 18 or minor children.
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

Your legal recourse would be to sue them in court. Often, before suing for such a huge violation, a party will hire an attorney to send a demand letter to see if they get recourse before filing a civil suit. If you were to move, there might be an issue of what is called legal standing. You would have to at least begin your suit while you were still living there. It's not the statute of limitations that you need to be concerned with but rather your legal standing to sue.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

The gym rules could also be an issue if they are worded as broadly as that.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi Irene. If there is no additional legal information that you need and I have answered your initial question in a professional manner, please be so kind as to leave a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get credited and compensated for the time spent researching and answering your questions since we are not Just Answer employees.

Thank you in advance for your positive review and for allowing me to assist you for the past few days!

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi Irene. Have not heard back from you. Can you let me know if you still need more information from me?

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