What Every HOA Board Member Needs to Know About Rentals & Short Term Rentals
Dealing with renters can be tricky for members of an HOA board. After all, it’s usually better to have a home occupied even if the occupant isn’t an owner. However, renters often care less about following the HOA’s rules and keeping up the home they live in, simply because it isn’t theirs. Here’s what you, as an HOA board member, need to know to make this process as smooth as possible.
Know the Rules
Different HOAs will have different rules for landlords and renters, so be sure you know what yours are and how they get enforced. Make sure you understand:
- Who is responsible for paying dues. Most landlords will take on that task themselves and build the dues into the rental amount. However, some will ask the renters to deal with you directly. Make a note on each account so you know who is responsible. While the landlord carries the ultimate responsibility, this can help you know who to contact first in case of nonpayment.
- What your HOA requires from homeowners who rent out their dwelling. You may require them to do things like:
- Give their tenants copies of the governing documents before they move in
- Send their requests to the HOA through the landlord
- Provide the board with a copy of the rental agreement
- Maintain responsibility for tenants who break the rules
- And more!
Knowing what your rules require will help make the rental process as smooth as possible.
Help Out Landlords
Most people who rent out homes or units that they own do so with the best possible intentions. They may not be able to sell right now, for some reason, or they may plan to return to the area in the near future. A few might want the extra income that can come from renting out a home, but even these folks usually want to keep up the homes and don’t intend to let anyone down.
Keeping communication open between landlords and the HOA can go far towards making these relationships as smooth as possible. Make sure you know where the landlords live and the best way to contact them if there are problems. Reach out to them a couple of times each year, just to make sure you still have updated contact information and that they don’t have any questions for you.
Occasionally, landlords may struggle to take care of HOA violations that their tenants incur. Work with landlords in these situations to make sure that issues are taken care of quickly and efficiently and that no one feels like they got the short end of the deal.
Working with landlords and renters can be more difficult than dealing with homeowners directly, but it can also be rewarding. Many renters love the neighborhoods they rent in so much that they eventually decide to purchase homes there and invest even more in the community. Building good relationships can help convince them to stay! At AMI, we can help you navigate these conversations so everyone ends up satisfied!
Short Term Rentals and Your HOA
If short term rentals have not yet become an issue for your HOA, they should be on your horizon as a topic you need to discuss and deal with. After all, AirBNB, VRBO, FlipKey and more are making it easier than ever for your association members to use their home as a way to make money.
What is a Short Term Rental?
Short term rentals occur when someone makes all or part of their property available for temporary rental. Many times, these homes are used as vacation rentals for people who want to visit your area. If your association is near a convention center, business people who want to avoid hotels may also choose short term rentals instead.
People can make good money when they put all or part of their home up for rent. Even if they only rent one room for $50/night on the weekends, they could make $400 a month. Over time, that adds up and the money can be a big motivator for people who need some extra income.
What Issues to Short Term Rentals Bring Up for Your HOA?
Short term rentals can bring up all sorts of issues that HOAs will need to deal with. These include parking problems, increased traffic in the neighborhood, noise from parties, trash left behind, and more. There may also be safety issues if renters are thieves, sex offenders, or have other history of criminal activity. Even if the renters are upstanding citizens, neighbors may not feel safe with strangers living next door.
You may not think that these issues are significant enough to handle on a HOA level. While this may be true if only one or two people in the association are offering short term rentals, the problems will be magnified if more people start making money this way.
How Can You Resolve Short Term Rental Issues in Your HOA?
As a member of an HOA board, you have options when it comes to handling short term rentals in your association.
First of all, look over your existing covenants and other agreements. They may limit or prohibit short term rentals already. However, this trend is fairly new and many HOAs find themselves without any existing regulations.
If you don’t have any rules and guidelines around short term rentals, it’s time to put some in place. Most legal experts agree that you will need to amend your covenants to include these and that you cannot regulate short term rentals via the simpler adoption of a policy or a rule.
It may be in your best interests to regulate short term rentals, rather than trying to ban them outright. Consider rules like:
- Requiring residents offering short term rentals to register with the board.
- Notify residents that rules broken by their short term tenants will be their responsibility and that they will be fined accordingly.
- Limit the number of days each month or year that a short term rental can be inhabited by a tenant other than the homeowner.
If you need help regulating short term rentals in your HOA, contact us at AMI today!Tweet
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