Florida Condo Association Only Wants Single Or ‘Husband And Wife’ Homebuyers

Casa di Amici
A condo association in Venice, Florida has decided to outright ban any homebuyers who are "living in sin". That is: 

"The sale, lease, or transfer of a Condominium Unit may be made only to an individual, to a husband and wife jointly, to the trustee or trustees of a trust, the beneficiaries of which are limited to an individual, a husband and wife, or the lineal descendants of a the husband and wife, or either of them, or to a partnership organized for the purpose of holding title to a Condominium Unit and the partners of which are an individual or husband and wife."

That's a statement from the "comic-sans-riddled" official website of Casa Di Amici, the association that adopted the controversial policy as of July 31, 2013. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that, according to 10 News Tampa Bay, the policy is completely legal under Florida Law.

Casa di Amici SocialJulia Nowak, an openly-gay realtor who rents a condo in the complex to her elderly parents, discovered the discriminatory policy after receiving a document from Casa Di Amici. "I could not believe what I was reading," she said, "it basically says you have to be either a single person or a husband and wife to purchase a unit here…I hope there is public outrage [that] people will discriminate in this day and age."

It is worth noting that this policy doesn't just discriminate against same-sex couples. Opposite-sex couples that aren't recognized as "traditionally married" are barred as well. 10 News reports that:

"The City of Venice has a domestic partnership ordinance that might have allowed Nowak to fight the new policy, but the condos with a Venice mailing address are actually in unincorporated Sarasota County, which doesn't have a human rights ordinance…the truth is unless the state of Florida passes a human rights ordinance or domestic partners live in an area with that type of ordinance, what they call discrimination is perfectly legal."

Florida is unfortunately one of many states in the U.S. that bans marriage equality as well as refusing to recognize any other sort of same-sex partnership, and has no laws in place to protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment, or education. 

Comments

  1. Craig says

    Do they realize that by limiting the types of future buyers they are lowering their property values? Sure, some people might be attracted to this situation but even those people need to think about resale.

  2. Macmantoo says

    Now what going to stop me from buying a unit then moving in with my lover? Once I buy the unit there is not a whole lot they can do about it. They can’t “undo” a sale.

  3. candideinnc says

    Craig is right. It is a lousy housing market in Venice. Prices are a fraction of what they were before the bubble burst. They are going to make it harder to sell than ever before. Still, glad they advertise their bigotry. It is good to know what kind of neighbors there are.

  4. TomTallis says

    And when one of the owners is gets an offer from a gay couple and that offer is the highest by far of the offers received and they’re forced to sell low, does this board really think that they’re not going to get sued by the owner for the diminishment of the value of his property?

  5. Homo Genius says

    Ok the other issues aside… this is another example of how out of control HOAs and other property groups have become.

    The problem with most of these issues is that all the goobly gook is in the deeds so any changes require everyone to go to personal expense of having deeds changes.

    My neighborhood overwhelmingly wants our HMO disbanded but its like $5K or something everyone would have to spend.

    Since its so hard to change ore get rid of these things become self perputuating.

    Most any issues that would “reduce” property values or be a detriment the neighborhood is usually already covered by city ordinences and doesn’t need a busy body or covenants in deeds micromanaging every house in a subdivision.

    So anyway, 20 years from now when there is gay marriage in Florida, this will still be going on because no one is ever going to jump thru all the hoops it takes to change these deeds

  6. andrew says

    What’s the difference between this and Condominiums that don’t allow children or pets or smokers or those condos which exclude people under 55 or some other age criteria?

  7. RickieJones says

    I don’t know, if people want to live in that hood under those rules, it should be their right. Don’t tell me I can’t live somewhere that kids are banned, I HATE kids and don’t want to have to deal with the little brats. Same goes for really old people. Disgusting. And the mexicans that play loud music all night. Gross. And ugly gay people, I only want to live near really hot gays.

  8. johnny says

    Sarcasm font needed there, Rickie.

    Agree with Homo Genius, HOAs should be banned, period. It’s nothing short of Nazi control B.S. and making everyone in the subdivision join in lockstep (goose-step?) to have a perfect, blond Stepford situation.

    If you KNOWINGLY move into one of these neighborhoods, you have nobody to blame but yourself for not reading the restrictions ahead of time. The mailboxes all being exactly the same should be your first clue.

    There have been idiotic lawsuits over people growing small vegetable gardens or wanting to plant a tree in these types of communities. When it gets to the point where I have to get permission from a committee to paint my house a different color or plant something nicer than what was there, forget it.

    I pay the taxes and the mortgage and I’m not about to let someone else tell me how to live.

    And Florida is a burnt out shell of nasty anyway, they can keep it.

  9. Larry says

    Is the policy legal? Same sex adoption in Florida was legal until a lawsuit a few years ago (In re Gill). The Florida appeals court found that a law stopping gay couples from adopting violated equal protection. Wouldn’t the exact same logic apply to gay couples wanting to buy a house?

  10. Hagatha says

    The condo docs can say anything they like; that doesn’t mean it’s enforceable. Condo associations can barely exercise approval on renters and have no power whatsoever to limit who may purchase. The same is not true of a cooperative.

  11. Mary says

    I don’t see why this should be a problem. It really is a “traditionalist vs. modernist” battle rather than a “LGBT vs. homophobes” battle. But once gay marriage becomes legal in Florida then gays couples who are legally wed must be allowed in. Otherwise we have an illegal case of discrimination. I don’t really know what homophobes are going to do when SSM is legal across the whole land. They will have to start setting up businesses/establishments that are only meant for people of one religion – if they refuse to be gay-inclusive. The smartest move they could make would be to cultivate a healthy respect for and a good working relationship with their gay neighbors and fellow citizens in order to prepare for the time when this happens.

  12. jamal49 says

    This is discrimination, is it not? And, how in the hell can a homeowners association be permitted to determine who is “living in sin”? I tell ya, with each and every passing day, I come to despise more and more evangelicals and other forms of christian cretinism.

  13. Jay says

    I think they are going to have lots of litigation over this. It doesn’t bother me because I would loathe having to live near the kind of people who want those kinds of restrictions. But surely these restrictions will lower the property values and make the condos unattractive as investments. Why would anyone want to limit the pool of potential buyers when it comes time to sell? Love how dumb these bigots are.

  14. chasmader says

    Every Preliminary Title Report I see these days, and I see a lot of them (I’m a Real Estate Broker) has a blanket disclaimer stating words to the effect that there may be outdated/illegal deed recorded deed restrictions that violate Federal housing laws and to ignore them.

  15. CG says

    Who cares if they don’t want us to live there. It’s so much more fun calling it “discrimination’ Validates our guilt of secretly feeling worthless.

  16. andrew says

    What is the difference between this Condominiums discriminatory rules and all those Condominium Associations that don’t allow children or pets or smokers of people under 55 or some other discriminatory rule?

  17. Caliban says

    Gosh. But they all look like such a fun-loving bunch!

    One of the oddest things I ever experienced was being invited to a Christmas party at a “planned community” thrown by one of my partner’s co-workers. The color and type of lights you were “allowed” to use was dictated by the HOA. I imagine it was supposed to be charming and somehow unifying but it just seemed cold and soulless instead. Our hostess had been told I was “artistic” so she showed off all the crafts she had done, from kits. Each and every one looked EXACTLY like the picture on the packaging it came in, which was apparently the idea. “Cute Snowman kit #578.” Just add hot glue.

    Scariest thing I ever saw, though admittedly they were probably breaking HOA rules by allows homos past the gate.

  18. Hagatha says

    “What is the difference between this Condominiums discriminatory rules and all those Condominium Associations that don’t allow children or pets or smokers of people under 55 or some other discriminatory rule?

    POSTED BY: ANDREW ”

    The differences are these:

    Pets and smokers have no rights.

    All adult or senior buildings have to have to meet some requirements to be exclusive of children. It cannot be arbitrary. For example, a senior building has to have some aspect of adaptation for the elderly. You can’t simply forbid children. And even those which meet the requirement for special accommodation often lose legal challenges when retirees get custody of grandkids.

    There is no provision in law which permits discrimination on marital or religious status.

  19. Kris says

    ATTN Johnny and other Florida Bashers. Please do not hate the entire state because of a stupid condo in Sarasota. Not everyone thinks like that. Florida is beautiful and there are lots of Gays who make their home here. We are working to get Florida to be more equality minded. And by the way Johnny, where do you live that is so great?

  20. Koskalaka Maricón says

    Isn’t it ironic that “casa di amici” translates from Italian to English as “home of friends” (not home to only single or married people). As a south Florida resident living in a straight-friendly gay-borhood with a gay mayor, etc., I sometimes forget that the further north I travel in Florida, the further south I really am. Senator Marco Rubio, why won’t you return my phone calls and emails, Sweetheart?

  21. andrew says

    If a Condominium can exclude, as many do, people with children or people of a certain age, why can’t they exclude people who are not married but living together? I would not be eligible to live in that condominium, nor would I want too, but I think they are within their rights to set those rules.

  22. Markt says

    Discrimination is generally legal except in certain situations and against certain classes of people. Gays are not included in such classes except in a few cities where they are specifically included by statute. States are beginning to pass non-discrimination statutes but mostly gays are only protected at the local level, if at all.
    Legal recourse here may exist through the courts but i doubt there is on-point precedent to support it in Florida.

  23. andrew says

    @HAGATHA: Have you given up on your ABSURD opinion that giving food and medicine to people in Africa, causes more deaths than if we leave them alone? You are such a FOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. jimstoic says

    There is a slightly positive way to view this: a Florida retirement community that wanted to limit residence to LGBT folks could, apparently, do so.

  25. Daniel says

    For the ones who think it’s illegal: how exactly? Sexual orientation is not a protected class under Federal housing law. The condos are in an unincorporated area with no local discrimination law. The state doesn’t have any laws banning such behavior. And it’s action by a private entity.

    Yeah, it sucks, but people have been figuring out ways to associate with only the types of people they want since the invention of real property. And most of those ways are legal.

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