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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

With Apolgies to the Beach Boys, I Give You "Damn Citations"

It happens every Spring. The college kids come to Key West to party hard and have fun. No shirt, no shoes, no problem for the most part. Kids bring lots of cash and have a good time. They aren't bad kids. They are probably your kids or your nieces and nephews. They are just here to have some fun in the sun. The problem is they have fun when the sun don't shine. They have fun so late sometimes that they wake up the roosters by partying too hard in the pool in the house that they rented. And its not only the rooster that gets awakened. Sometimes it is the next door neighbors. But first, the verse:

I'm pickin' up damn citations
(Oom bop bop damn citations)
She's giving me some damn citations
(Oom bop bop citations)
Damn, damn, damn, damn citations
(Oom bop bop)
She's giving me damn citations
(Oom bop bop damn citations)

There is a story on the front page of today's Key West Citizen (READ HERE) that tells the tale of what could happen if you rent to spring breakers or anyone else and do not have a transient rental license or if you do not (allegedly-like they say on TV when the cops nab the culprit in plain view of everybody but don't want to presume him guilty) have a valid monthly vacation rental agreement.

It's not fair to pick on the college kids that come to Key West to have fun. Many 'adults' do the same thing except they are usually not as thin or as cute as the college kids, but some are as nearly nude and certainly as loud after they have had a few (dozen) beers. When they take the party back to their rented house and wake the locals who, for the most part are a tolerant bunch, things change. Patience wears very thin in the wee hours of the morning.

The interior of the Monroe County Jail in the 1970s

You can rent a house or a condo as a vacation rental but you need to follow the rules. If you don't, and if you get caught, you can go to real estate jail. No, they don't put you in a cell. But they can put you through hell. That extra money you could have made will go the City of Key West and not to your child's college fund.

Owning a house or a condo with a transient rental license is one way to avoid going to real estate jail. (A transient rental licenses permits an owner to rent his property on a daily basis every day of the year, the same as an innkeeper rents a room.) The other is to be a responsible owner and not to violate the Golden Rule: don't piss off the neighbors. Make sure your rental agent earns the management fee you pay and does not allow a rental to The Situation turn into a Damn Citation.

If you are looking to buy a house or condo in Key West that has a transient rental license, please consider working with me,
Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or contact me by email at I am a full time buyer's agent and Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West. Avoid real estate jail; buy a place that's legal.


Anonymous said...

And the recent death of a college spring breaker at a vacation rental unit tells the horrific tale of what happens when kids and alcohol mix. I wonder how many spring breakers were staying at that unit?

Anyway, the old saying applies - arrive on vacation, leave on probation.

Gary Thomas said...

The Magistrate does not put property owners on probation. He doles out fines!


Anonymous said...

I think the poster was referring to spring breakers who arrive on vacation only to get into trouble with the law ( such as public intoxication, DUI, property damage, bar fights or some other infraction ) only to end up in court with charges leading to probation ( perhaps before judgment ).

I read the story online in the Miami newspaper concerning the female college student who died in the staircase fall from a vacation rental and I am sure the property mgmt company is concerned for their own liability if fire laws were breeched due to any violations with occupancy laws or transient rental licensing at the condo in question especially if the condo docs do not support rentals less than 30 days.

Gary Thomas said...

Re the last comment-Pelican Landing is the location of the recent death. I have written a couple of times about units for sale there. The units I wrote about have transient licenses. I assume all may have them because the place is run like a hotel with boatslips. The units are very large and have great views. And now they have a tragedy.

I agree with the comment about liability otherwise.



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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.