Soldier Can’t Rent His Condo

(WSVN) - He is serving his country and proud to be a pilot-in-training. His wife wants to join him, but she had to stay behind to try to rent their condo. Then, their association said they couldn’t rent it. Is that legal to do to a service member? It’s why they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

When couples talk about a picture perfect place for a wedding, a beautiful beach in the Florida Keys could be on the list.

Denisa Makin, wants to rent condo: “It was a dream come true, you know? It was an awesome day. It was the best day ever.”

In April, Denisa and Kyle exchanged vows, and right before their wedding, the couple bought a condo in Bal Harbour.

Denisa Makin: “It’s like a 15 minute walk to the beach, and it’s like super safe.”

But they didn’t get to enjoy the condo together for long. After being in the Coast Guard for 12 years, Kyle transferred to the Army to become a pilot.

Denisa Makin: “That’s his dream. I’m so proud of him.”

The Army sent Kyle to Alabama to begin his pilot training. The newlyweds now use FaceTime to talk.

Denisa Makin: “Hi, honey. How are you?”

Denisa wanted to join Kyle but first had a request of their Longwood Tower Condo board.

Sgt. Kyle Makin, U.S. Army: “I just want permission to be able to rent my property.”

Their condo documents say an owner has to wait two years to rent their unit unless there is a hardship. Kyle thought being transferred by the Army would qualify for that.

Denisa Makin: “We wrote a letter to the president of the association, and they said no.”

The reason? The board said basically said Kyle should have know the Army was going to transfer him when he bought their condo — writing, “It would not be unreasonable for you to predict the possibility that at some point, you may have to relocate.”

And because of that, we deny your request to rent your condo.

Sgt. Kyle Makin: “It made me feel a little bit like … not punished, but my situation not taken seriously.”

Longwood Towers Condos fly the American flag out front showing their love of America. Kyle though wonders, “What about the men and women fighting to defend that flag?”

Sgt. Kyle Makin: “I think anyone would see that this is a hardship situation.”

Denisa can’t move to Alabama yet because she is staying here to try to rent out the condo, and that’s creating a financial strain on them.

Sgt. Kyle Makin: “I am currently paying my mortgage there as well our rental property here.”

Emotionally, it’s a strain on both of them as well.

Denisa Makin: “I miss him so much every day. Let us be together. Let us rent this place.”

Well Howard, can an association do this to an American soldier?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “Legally, this is outrageous. Congress and the State of Florida created the relief acts for service members to allow them to devote their entire energy to the defense of America. That gives them the right to break an apartment or vehicle lease and, by extension in this case, the right to rent out your condo when you get transferred by the military.”

The Longwood Towers Condo board apparently did not tell their attorney about Kyle.

He wrote, “I have no information and have not been requested by the association to assist it with Sgt. Makin’s request.”

One condo board member did tell me Kyle voluntarily chose to leave the Coast Guard and transfer to the Army. He knew what would happen when he left one service for the other, and therefore, we are not going to let him rent his condo until two years pass.

Howard Finkelstein: “He’s going from one service to another to protect our country. If an attorney steps forward to sue the condo association, a judge will not only rule in Kyle’s favor, the association will have to pay his attorney’s fees.”

Denisa and Kyle now wait — hoping a South Florida attorney will offer to help them.

Sgt. Kyle Makin: “Thank you so much, ya’ll. Appreciate it.”

We will keep an eye on Kyle and Denisa and let you know what happens to them.

And remember, if you are in the military and you get transferred, the law gives you many rights you may not know about.

The link to see those rights is down below.

Fighting a battle and losing? The hardship makes no sense to you? We will volunteer to help and hopefully be of service to you.

Service Members Relief Act
www.justice.gov/servicemembers/servicemembers-civil-relief-act-scra

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

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