The Washington Post: Condo owners who can't stay, sell, or rent:
"Susannah Moss's trendy one-bedroom Adams Morgan condo, in a converted warehouse, has become a potential money drain.
Since Moss contracted to buy the unit in early 2005, she has married, had a child and outgrown the space. She is trying to sell the condo but has been hampered by the housing slump. Three months after putting it on the market, she has yet to receive an offer.
Now Moss, 33, wants to find a tenant for her condo while she waits out the economy. But the condominium association allows only 20 percent of the units to be leased at once, so Moss is on a waiting list. If she tries to rent the unit without permission, she could face a $500-a-month fine.
In 2005, George Gozen jumped into the condo craze, buying several units that he planned to sell quickly. When the market turned sluggish, he decided to rent out his two remaining Washington area condos. He is looking for tenants but is facing a 20 percent cap on rentals in both buildings.
At one of them, a luxury building near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the condo board has said it could evict unapproved renters, said Gozen, a mortgage loan officer. "My idea was not to be a landlord. My idea was to flip them, but here I am. I am stuck with them," he said.
Gozen is applying for hardship exemptions from both condo boards, arguing that without a renter he will not be able to keep the properties and will be forced into foreclosure or will have to sell at a particularly low price -- either of which would drag down values for the entire building".