The Real Reason Trump Can't Live At Mar-A-Lago After His Presidency Ends

In the 2020 presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden received more than the 270 electoral college votes required to secure the presidency. Though Biden has essentially been declared the winner, the decision hasn't been officially certified. On Dec. 8, 2020, electoral colleges convene to vote on what is called the "safe harbor" deadline. While states aren't legally required to certify their results by this date, if they do, they can avoid Congress getting involved and resolving a potential dispute over which candidate won a particular state's electoral college votes.

Dec. 14, 2020, is the official day in which state electors officially cast their votes for president and vice president. Then on Jan. 6, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET, the vote count is finalized and certified. Barring something completely unexpected happening between now and the vote certification day, President-elect Biden will be named the 46th sitting president of the United States. 

Unless current President Donald Trump decides not to leave the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, when President-elect Biden is sworn in as president, he will have to find another place to live. Most assume that President Trump will live at his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago. There is just one big glitch in those plans to prevent that from happening. Keep reading to find out more.

Unfortunately for Donald Trump, the Mar-a-Lago resort can't be used as a primary residence

Once President Donald Trump has officially moved out of the White House, he will most likely head to his favorite residence, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. The 126-room, 62,500-square-foot mansion and 17.5-acre resort and golf club, which he has dubbed the "winter White House," has been the go-to vacation spot for Trump during his presidency. Last year, per The New York Times, Trump changed his permanent residency from New York to Florida, listing the Mar-a-Lago Club as his and Melania Trump's permanent residence. Reportedly, one of the main reasons he moved to Florida was for the tax benefits.

While Trump can stay at the resort post-election, he cannot permanently live there, though. In 1993, when he was granted permission by the town of Palm Beach to turn the mansion into a members' club, Trump signed an agreement with the Palm Beach town council not to use it as a private residence, according to Yahoo! News. The agreement, per The Washington Post, states that he can spend a maximum of 21 days there a year and no more than seven days at a time.

Trump has already violated that 21-day limit, with NBC News reporting that he has spent 133 days at Mar-a-Lago while president, as of October 2019. So if Trump wants to live permanently at Mar-a-Lago, he has to legally change the property type. Otherwise, he'll have to find a new home — he does have plenty to choose from, though.

The Secret Service has reportedly been asked if they want to relocate to Trump's Mar-a-Lago

Renovations are reportedly underway at Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort, as the president prepares to depart the White House. Sources close to the matter told ABC News in late November 2020 that Trump would relocate along with several Secret Service agents to a renovated Mar-A-Lago, which the president has described in the past as "the winter White House."

Agents in the president's detail were reportedly being asked whether they would move to the residence in Palm Beach, where renovations have started to take place in rooms that he and First Lady Melania Trump will live in. The agency declined to comment on "the means, methods or resources we utilize to carry out our protective mission," ABC News reported.

Per Florida law, Trump will be required to spend at least six months a year at Mar-A-Lago to maintain residency status. With that in mind, it is expected that Trump will spend the remainder of the year at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. and at his Manhattan penthouse.

Donald Trump will have to remove his Mar-a-Lago helipad once he is no longer president

According to the Palm Beach Daily News, President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago neighbors have complained about the "noise and down draft" resulting from the Marine One helicopters landing at the resort. In early 2017, the newspaper reported that Palm Beach's town council unanimously approved Mar-a-Lago's permit to construct a 50-foot concrete helipad on which Marine One could land to be used only for official presidential business. The council also made exceptions for street closures and moorings for Secret Service boats for the president's visits.

The result of the helicopter traveling from the Mar-a-Lago to the airport has reportedly been quite disruptive and ruined some of his neighbors' landscaping. The Palm Beach town council has also ordered that Trump removes the 50-foot, 8-inch-deep concrete helipad on the west lawn of the ocean-to-lake estate once Trump is no longer president. Trump does have his own corporate helicopter, but the town prohibits helicopter travel, so it looks as if he'll have to do like most private citizens do and drive home from the airport.