(WSVN) - When she moved into the condo, they had a rule that barred motorcycles, but years later, they are telling her they’re enforcing the rule and she has to get rid of the cycle. Can an association come after you for a rule they let you break? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to sort it out.

When we walked into Alexa’s apartment, we discovered it might have been a first — the first that was decorated for Christmas.

Alexa Polcyn: “We love Christmas. We’re the type of people that put up our Christmas decorations before Halloween.”

Alexa loves getting into the Christmas spirit, and she has another love she gets into: her motorcycle.

Alexa Polcyn: “We already had a car, and I just wanted something little, and believe it or not, I feel safer on two wheels rather than four.”

It’s how she likes to get to work, to run errands.

But now that motorcycle is starting to ruin Alexa’s Christmas spirit.

Alexa Polcyn: “They kept hassling our landlord about it.”

Three years ago, when Alexa and her partner wanted to rent the condo, they had to be approved by the association.

They noticed a rule right away.

Alexa Polcyn: “We specifically saw on the lease that it said ‘no motorcycles.’ It was bold.”

Alexa’s response?

Alexa Polcyn: “‘If you don’t want us to move in, then, because of this bike, then say so now or forever hold your peace.'”

Their reply?

Alexa Polcyn: “They said, ‘No, no, no, it’s totally fine. It’s not going to be an issue.'”

In fact, they even joked about it.

Alexa Polcyn: “‘You’re a girl. It’s small. It’s not like you’re going to be outside working on it.”

But now, three years later, the association has changed its mind about the bike they approved.

Alexa Polcyn: “‘You can no longer have it on property, or else we’re going to tow it.'”

Alexa wouldn’t have moved in if she couldn’t have her motorcycle. Now, because of it, she might have to move out.

Alexa Polcyn: “I want to be able to lay my head down at night and not have to worry about somebody towing it.

Well, Howard, can an association say you can have something, and then years later say, “Oh, wait. No, you can’t?'”

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Whether its having a pet, painting a color or parking a motorcycle, an association that has given approval to violate their rules cannot force a resident to then follow the rule. In most cases, those people are grandfathered in, but the association can start enforcing the rules after giving notice. Meaning, in this this case, Alexa can keep her motorcycle on the property.”

I spoke to the landlord. She said she tried to help Alexa and her partner Kelly, they were wonderful tenants, but the association was cracking down on the condo document rules.

The landlord said those rules also stated you can only have one vehicle, and Alexa and her partner have a truck and the motorcycle.

That’s when they all decided it was best to just let the women move out.

Alexa Polcyn: “Thankfully, we found a very beautiful place. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”

That’s the good news. The downside? Alexa and Kelly have to take their Christmas decorations down in November, and leave an apartment they really liked.

Alexa Polcyn: “It was home for years, and it’s sad that in a span of two weeks, we just had to pick up, put all of our lives in boxes and walk away.”

They are going to put the Christmas decorations back up in the new place.

Now, Howard said an association can start enforcing the rules after giving notice, but that doesn’t mean the person who was allowed to break the rule has to follow them immediately. For example, if they let you have a dog, they can stop you from getting a new dog but can’t make you get rid of your current dog. That’s grandfathering you in. If you aren’t sure about it, just let us know and we will help you out.

Got a problem that’s cycling through your life? Ready to crank up a solution? Scooter our way and let us wheel it away.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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