Why Condominium Associations Should Be Wary of Short-Term Rentals

Thanks to the popularity of sites like Airbnb.com and homeaway.com, instances of short-term rentals and home sharing have skyrocketed in the past few years. These websites connect homeowners with potential renters who are looking for a place to stay, and for a nominal fee, they can rent out space or their entire property.

For many homeowners, renting out space is a great way to earn extra income, but when that homeowner owns a condominium unit, the situation can be problematic.

A homeowner’s decision to rent out all or part of their home impacts everyone in the association. As a condominium association, it’s crucial to have regulations governing short-term rentals in place.

Though profitable for unit owners, short-term rentals are problematic for condominium associations for numerous reasons. Safety and security are primary concerns because renters gain access to common areas and facilities. There are inherent risks when allowing short-term renters to access shared living spaces without background checks and other precautions.

Short-term tenants also aren’t responsible for paying maintenance fees, and since they don’t live in the community, they’re more likely to misuse equipment, take advantage of amenities or waste resources like water. The might not abide by the association’s rules, and they could make unit owners uncomfortable.

Noise, littering and property damage are also major concerns with transient renters. These people are often vacationers looking to have a good time, so neighbors may find themselves dealing with parties, loud music and other nuisances.

Whether short-term renters are covered by the condominium’s master insurance policy is a bit of a grey area. If the property is damaged, is the renter responsible? Or if the renter gets hurt on the premises, are they covered by the insurance policy, or could the condominium be held liable?

What You Can Do

As short-term rental websites continue to gain popularity, conflicts between condominium associations and unit owners are likely to become more common. To manage these conflicts, it’s crucial to have rules governing short-term rentals in your condominium bylaws. You may want to speak with an attorney to draft rules and regulations before short-term rentals become a problem.

Alternatively, working with a professional condominium manager is an excellent way to ensure that the proper rules are in place and enforced. To learn more about how a condominium manager can help you deal with short-term rentals, contact AMI today.

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