NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida couple rented what they thought was the perfect home until they learned there was a rule that didn't allow them to stay. Now, they're left homeless.
“It was the perfect house for us. So we like the house, the neighborhood in the location in price range. The price was perfect too," Annette Kriete said.
A perfect home, she said. That is a perfect distance from their family. The five-month search for a home for herself and her partner, Michael Simon, was over. The couple was relieved.
“It was a lot of stressful months trying to find the house that market is up right now," Kriete said.
The couple moved into the home in North Fort Myers on New Year's Eve.
“Everything was going to be really nice. I thought and then we got the bad news," Simon said.
That same day the couple was told they couldn't stay because of a Property Owners Association rule. The president of the POA told them there was a rule that doesn't allow homeowners to rent their property.
“He said, well, that's not allowed. That's gonna be a problem," Kriete said.
The couple was in-shock after forking out thousands of dollars for their rental.
“From what they're saying is they don't want to have to pressure us into leaving, but we have to just because of the rules," Simon said.
Finding another place to rent in a short time frame, they said, is nearly impossible.
“I've been in tears. I've had migraine headaches, which I don't usually get unless I'm under stress and I'm getting them every day right now," Kriete said.
She now spends hours outside of work and on her weekends frantically searching for another home, but she said time is ticking.
“They have offered our money back, but they're asking us to hurry and leave," she said.
The couple said the realtor and homeowner were unaware.
For now, they live out of boxes and bags with only the essentials.
Kriete said they have explored other options, but most are too costly.
“You know, find Airbnb, which is going to cost us out of our pocket. We came up with a lot of money to move into this house," she said.
The pair wants time to find another place and once again load up their things and move to another home.
Fox 4 spoke with the president of the Terrapin Woods POA. He said, "the rules are the rules." He said the rules state that renting in the neighborhood isn't allowed.