Before DNC, condo owners should go to their docs

By: Deon Roberts, editor//December 2, 2011//

Before DNC, condo owners should go to their docs

By: Deon Roberts, editor//December 2, 2011//

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The dollars signs are already in property owners’ eyes, even though the Democratic National Convention isn’t until September.

That a lot of convention-goers will be in need of a place to crash near Time Warner Cable Arena has some Uptown residents, in particular, hoping to cash in.

A little Googling this week brought me to a Craigslist ad for a 4th Ward condo that is “just a 5-7 minute walk to center of town, the arena, other DNC activities.”

The rent for one week: $4,000.

That gets you a 600-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo where, for an additional $200, your pets can stay, too.

David, the owner, will provide an air mattress if you need it.

Indeed, since most, if not all, of the local hotels are going to be booked up pretty soon, if they’re not already, because of the convention, anybody who owns a home near Uptown would probably have no trouble renting their unit out.

But local condo owners might want to do a little research before they start looking to make a buck off of DNC attendees. From what I’m hearing on the street, some uptown condo owners and their boards are starting to tackle the question of whether they can use them as rentals during the convention.

It all comes down to this: What do the condominium documents  — “docs” for us cool kids who speak the lingo — say?

Never mind the squabbles over union labor. With the DNC 10 months away, the condominium rental issue is becoming the latest hot topic.

Mary Wilken, president of Charlotte-based Home Management, said the boards of some of the condos she manages (they include Jefferson Square, Park Avenue and Springfield Square) are already dealing with the subject.

“There’s a whole lot of activity around that with boards,” she said. “It’s a point of discussion as to whether they’re going to do it, if people are going to do it anyway even if you tell them that they can’t.”

Some uptown condo owners don’t want to be uptown for the DNC and, instead, are looking to collect  “pretty significant” rents from the event, she said.

Tell me about it. has an 1,850-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath condo at 435 S. Tryon St. listed for $12,995 a week or $39,995 a month. It’s available Aug. 1 through Sept. 30.

“Hands down the most convenient location to DNC!” the listing says.


Hopefully, that owner has researched his condo association’s policy, because, as Wilken said, some condo docs say units must be rented for a year or longer.

In some cases, boards might be able to override the condo docs, she said.

I think I smell billable hours.

Wilken would not tell me which condos under her management are mulling the issue, at least not yet.

“Actually, after next week, when we’re meeting with counsel to decide, then I can certainly give you information once they let their owners know what they’re kind of going to go with,” she said.

Since my column is devoured weekly by fans across the U.S. (and has a small, but loyal, readership in Dubai, I’m told) I’m going to take a moment to say something to my out-of-state readers who will be coming to the DNC:

If you’re planning on renting a condo, it might not be a bad idea to ask the owner whether he or she has checked their condo docs. I mean, what are you going to do if you learn just before the convention that, oops, the owner has found out that the condo board won’t allow the unit to be rented?

Back to David.

His last name is Stuck. I called him Wednesday to ask about his advertisement and whether he has discussed the issue with his association. He was a little nervous that his board might read about his ad in my column.

His apartment development is new — units are still being built — and the association is looking into the issue of rental caps, not just for the DNC, he said, adding that it might take nine to 10 months until the board makes a decision.

“I don’t know in particular about how they would feel about the convention and doing like a one- or two-week rental,” he said. “Theoretically, they could tell us that we’re not allowed to do it, which would make me pretty mad. There currently is no policy, so I’m not violating anything at the moment.”

Has his Craislist ad gotten any hits?

Not yet.

“I’ll probably have to drop it,” he said of the rent he’s asking.

Roberts can be reached at [email protected].

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