The Florida Supreme Court addressed a similar issue in a 2002 landmark case called Woodside Village Condominium Association v. Jahren, in which my firm had the privilege of arguing before the Court on behalf of the association. In that case, a condominium association amended its declaration to severely limit rentals by prohibiting annual and other long term rentals and basically only permitting seasonal rentals. Certain unit owners complained that they bought their condominium units with the specific intention of leasing them annually, a practice permitted by the declaration when they bought their units. These owners sued the association on the theory that they had lost vested property rights when the amendment was passed. The trial judge and an appeals court sided with the investors. However, the Florida Supreme Court ultimately found in favor of the association, ruling that when condo owners buy their units they are on notice that the contract that spells out their legal rights, the declaration of condominium, can be amended by the vote specified therein.
After this decision, investor groups lobbied the Florida Legislature for a change. In 2004 the law was amended and now provides that: “An amendment prohibiting unit owners from renting their units or altering the duration of the rental term or specifying or limiting the number of times unit owners are entitled to rent their units during a specified period applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who acquire title to their units after the effective date of that amendment.”
If your condominium was developed before 2004, there is some room to debate the retroactive effect of the statute. However, most associations follow the law.
As applied to your situation, the proposed amendment will, if adopted, alter the duration of the minimum rental term. As such, the statute will be triggered and if you do not vote in favor of the amendment the new rental policy will not apply to you. When you sell or transfer your unit, the new rental restriction will apply to the future owner of your unit. Also, rental amendments that do not impair minimum lease terms or frequency of leasing can generally be applied retroactively without running afoul of the statute discussed above.