Article Courtesy of Channel 7 News Miami
By Patrick Fraser
Published August 19, 2019
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
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
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
Sgt. Kyle Makin, U.S. Army: “I just want permission to be able to rent my
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
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
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
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
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
Denisa and Kyle now wait — hoping a South Florida attorney will offer to
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
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