RealManage Insight

How Can Your HOA Handle Homeowners Who Use Property For Short-Term Rentals

by Jennifer Harvey on Jun 23, 2022 1:30:00 PM

Over the last decade, the number of short-term rentals has grown exponentially thanks to platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. In fact, since Airbnb was founded in 2008, more than 7 million rentals have been listed on its website. 

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While this can be very lucrative for homeowners and convenient for people looking for places to stay, short-term rentals can be complicated for planned communities. As a result, many communities have struggled as the number of rental homes has increased including many short-term rentals (STRs). 

Let’s talk about some of the ways an HOA board can handle homeowners who want to use their property for short-term rentals. 

Are Short Term Rentals a Problem for HOA's?

Many Boards of Directors hear complaints about STRS because there are constantly new people staying in the house as well as concerns about large groups of people staying in the home or loud parties late into the night.

Sometimes noise might become a problem, especially on school or work nights when other people in the community are trying to sleep. 

Other residents may be concerned with different people constantly living next door to or in close proximity to them. Strangers can pose a risk of breaking into homes in the community or even theft in some extreme cases. 

What Can an HOA Do to Limit Short Term Rentals in Their Community?

Associations should review their governing documents to see what limits may already exist. For instance, there is often a rule against noise nuisances. Can that be enforced more effectively? Some governing documents may restrict leases to nothing shorter than six months or 30 days. Has that been enforced consistently? 

Do the current property owners in the community support further restrictions on Short Term Rentals? Consider a survey or outreach sessions. Is this important to your community? 

If the community is in support of further restrictions, discuss revising the community’s governing documents with the association’s attorney. 

What Does An HOA Do If They're Not Sure Where to Start?

Associations should work with their attorney to determine if they can enforce limits on STRs or if they need to create a new policy. Associations should also work with their community members to determine the restrictions that make sense in their area and for their community. 

Ensure That the Rules Are the Same for Everyone

Be sure that the rules and policies for your association are the same for everyone who owns property in the community. All rules should be fair to everyone who lives in the community so that everyone feels respected and treated with equal consideration. 

Banning short-term rentals is not a one-size-fits-all policy. Different communities will have different policies in place for dealing with rentals that work best for their community and are compliant with any local or state laws on the issue. 

Conclusions

Understanding the concerns and interests of everyone in the community is important as associations are considering how to address the growing number of short-term rentals.

A professional management company such as RealManage can help the association find the right balance for your community. Each association will need different rules and policies to meet the needs of the residents living in that community.

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