Enforcing Pet Policy, Renter & Contractor Policies, and New Rule & Regulation

This memo provides information on three (3) important measures that the Board voted on and approved at the last board meeting on January 18, 2014. These measures are: (1) how the Board will enforce the no-pet policy, (2) two new policies related to renters and contractors, and (3) an amendment to the Rules & Regulations that gives the Board the authority to assess fines. The Board takes the position that the following actions are necessary to promote the quality of life in the building and ensure the safety and security of the residents. The new policies will become effective on March 15, 2014.

Enforcing the No-Pet Policy
The FSH Board of Directors recently notified Owners about the voting results of the proposed pet policy. Since the proposal failed to garner enough votes (67%) to be passed, the Board has established the following procedure for enforcing the existing no-pet policy.
(1) A notification letter was sent to all Owners on January 10, 2014 informing them of the results of the voting. In addition, a no-pets sign will be posted on the front desk, on the bulletin board, and in other locations. (2) If a pet is seen or the Board receives a written complaint, then the FSH Manager is to remind/notify the Owner/Resident to remove the pet permanently from the premises. The Board will also send a letter informing the owner/resident that the pet must be removed. This letter will inform the Owner/Resident that “If the issue is not addressed, then legal action and a fine (including legal expenses) will be imposed.” (3) If the Owner/Resident is not in compliance with our request and a second incident occurs, then a fine will be imposed and we will have the FSHA lawyer send a letter.

New Policy for Renters
The Board has voted to approve a new policy that requires every Owner (who decides to rent their unit) to have the prospective tenant or tenants submit a completed
FSH Tenant Information Form, along with a $500 Entrance Fee and $500 Deposit to the Fort Sumter House Association.

$ 500 Entrance Fee (non-refundable)
$ 500 Deposit (refundable minus damage to common areas and/or fines for R&R violations)
$1000 total

The Entrance Fee is non-refundable and will offset the time and expense of using the staff and the freight elevators. It would also cover the cost to repair any damages to walls and carpet in the common elements when moving in and out of the building. The Deposit is refundable depending on the behavior of the tenant/s. We expect everyone to comply with the FSHA Rules and Regulations and respect FSHA property. Any fines assessed for violations of the Rules and Regulations and the cost to repair any damage to common areas will be deducted from the $500 Deposit.

The FSH Tenant Information Form can be picked up in the Manager’s office and must be completed before the Tenant moves in. Failure to submit this form will result in a delay in getting access to the building. If the Owner elects to have a property management firm handle the rental, it is the Owner’s responsibility to inform the property management company that the Tenant Information Form is required to be submitted to the FSH Manager before s/he is issued a FOB for access to the building.

New Policy for Contractors
The Board has voted to approve a new policy that requires contractors to pay a fee and a deposit as follows:

$ 500 Fee for parking and staff time (non-refundable)
$ 500 Deposit (refundable minus damage to common areas)
$1000 total

Contractors and their staff and/or subcontractors take up a considerable amount of space in the South Battery parking lot, often causing inconvenience to Owners and Residents. The Board feels that we should be charging for this privilege. Contractors also take a considerable amount of time from our staff who must ferry them up and down the freight elevator several times a day for many days and weeks. When there are several contractors in the building at the same time, this becomes very time consuming. The $500 Fee is non-refundable. The $500 Deposit would be refundable depending on if there was any damage to FSHA property (for example, damage to common area rugs, painted areas, etc.). The $500 Fee and the $500 Deposit will be required for any job that requires more than one specialty contractor and is managed by a general contractor and/or architect.

Amendment to Rules & Regulations
Enforcing the no-pet policy and the new policies for renters and contractors may require fines to be assessed. The FSHA
attorney, Capers Barr, reviewed the FSHA Master Deed and the Rules & Regulations and he could not find definitive language giving the Board this authority. Upon his recommendation, the Board voted and approved adding an amendment to the Rules & Regulations that gives the Board the authority to impose fines against owners and/or their tenants for rules infractions. The new amendment to Rules & Regulations follows:

  • “If an Owner, or an Owner’s tenant, fails to comply with the Rules & Regulations of Fort Sumter House Association, then the Association shall take such action as the Board of Directors determines is appropriate to enforce the Rules and Regulations, which action shall include, but not be limited to, imposing fines against the Owner and/or the Owner’s tenant. The amount of any such fines shall be within the sole discretion of the Board of Directors.”
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4 Responses to Enforcing Pet Policy, Renter & Contractor Policies, and New Rule & Regulation

  1. Hal Cottingham says:

    I’m concerned about the “new” tenant policy as well as the “new” contractor policy.

    First, as you all know Russell recently bought 504 with the express intend of combining it with 502 once the renter’s lease expires. I should hope the $1000 deposit does not apply to us since the renter was in place when the rule was passed and the unit was purchased with the lease in place but I’d like to know for sure.

    Second, I find it troubling to post a contractor’s deposit for the contractor that will do the renovation of 504 (when the lease expires this summer) since he’s the one that did the work in 502 with no known problems. I point out that our contractor and friend is Demi Howard of Palmetto Craftsman who has not only worked in the building for years but also owns a uint in the building.

    It seems to me that the Board should encourage (rather then discourage thru fees) the renovation of all units as a value creation method. Sure it takes a little more management on the part of the staff but the overall outcome bring more value to all owners.

    Please let me know the Boards position on both. Many thanks. Hal

    • Beth Dixon says:

      Hi Hal,
      The new Rental and Contractor Policies are effective as of March 15, 2014. They are not retroactive so, in the case of your unit #504, your current tenant is not impacted. The new Contractor Policy is being modified and I hope to have the revised policy posted in the next day or so. I will make sure the other board members see your posting. Thanks for the feedback. –Beth

  2. Jim Breeden says:

    A period of owner comment before these changes were sprung on us would have been a nice nod to the idea of community and would have, perhaps, prevented the Board now having to modify them. Or, did I miss it? Some real samples of the replacement carpet options would be nice, too. On-line and catalog colors can be misleading.


  3. Beth Dixon says:

    Hi Jim,
    The Board always welcomes feedback. We do plan to make some modifications to the new policies, so there is still plenty of time to send us your comments. There will be some real rug samples placed in the lobby by next week, we hope. So you will have an opportunity to see and feel the rugs we are considering for the hallway carpeting, and you can comment on them at that time. Thanks. –Beth

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