Handling Short-Term Rentals in Your Community

AdobeStock_102530411Short-term rentals are becoming more and more popular thanks to services like Airbnb. However, short-term rentals can cause problems for neighborhoods and associations. If homeowners in your area are asking about short-term rentals, check out these four tips.

Determine the Pros and Cons

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to allowing short-term rentals. The pros for home owners who allow renters is that it creates more income. Homeowners are also more likely to keep their home upgraded and updated to compete, which keeps the neighborhood home values high. The disadvantages, however, include safety and security problems, over-crowding and property damage. Also, because the renters aren’t members of the HOA, they may not be willing to follow rules, or they may just not be aware of them.

Ask Your Residents

It’s also a good idea to talk with the residents about short-term rental policies. Create a survey or make a forum on your HOA website to give residents a voice. Ask them how they feel about short-term renters or if they have any concerns. They could also be helpful in offering suggestions regarding potential policies. Your residents may not even want the option of short-term rentals, but you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Communicate With Homeowners

If the renters do break a rule while in the house, they aren’t going to be held responsible for it. They didn’t join the HOA or buy a house. The homeowner will be held responsible. It is important to remind homeowners of this. They’ll be more inclined to ensure renters know and follow the rules. It also may prevent some homeowners from choosing to rent because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of making sure someone else follows the rules.

Create Guidelines

If short-term rentals are legally allowed in your area, you’ll need to create special guidelines. For example, the HOA could limit how long a renter can stay or how often the homeowner can rent the home. Of course, associations also have the right to completely prohibit short-term rentals if the homeowners agree. Make sure to check your governing documents to see if there are already bylaws that refer to short-term rentals.

Renting out your home to a vacationer is a great way to make money, but it can impact the whole neighborhood if they aren’t on the same wavelength as the HOA. Before things get out of hand, make sure your association has the right guidelines in place.

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