Renters’ rights in a privately owned lake community in South Georgia.

This is a privately owned lake community by a corporation and each home owner of which I’m one) has a share in the corporation, which includes all lake privileges such as boating, fishing, swimming, etc., as long as the $200 annual association fees are paid. However, renters are forbidden to have these privileges. If a homeowner rents his home to a renter, shouldn ‘t the renter have the same rights as the owner of the home? Isn’t this a violation of renters’ rights? The corporation says it would put them in a position to be sued if a renter were to be injured or drowned in the lake.

Asked on July 3, 2009 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The lake is part of the commonly owned parts of the community.  You're renting the separate, individually-owned part of the community that belongs just to the landlord.  You don't have a lease with the whole community, so this restriction is probably legal.  If the apartment was advertised to you for rental, as including the lake privileges, you might be able to go back to your landlord for false advertising and maybe get a rent reduction.

I doubt that the lawsuit excuse makes a whole lot of sense, but I'm not sure it's even necessary.


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