The way that many people travel has changed drastically over the past ten years. Thanks to the increase of technology and a desire for people to think out of the box when it comes to traveling, options have greatly increased. Short term rentals have become a popular way for travelers, whether on vacation or traveling for business, to stay comfortably without overextending their pocketbooks.
This has had a big impact on HOAs because it opens up a new set of questions and problems that were not there before. Many HOAs are ill-suited to the demands of short term rentals, and have not been prepared for this influx of homeowners using their properties to earn extra cash. Here is some information to help your board make these decisions regarding short term rentals in your HOA community.
Should Our HOA Allow Short Term Rentals?
The first question your board should ask is whether short term rentals should be allowed on the HOA property at all. The board must first consider state and local laws which may determine whether rentals such as Airbnb, HomeAway, or FlipKey are allowed in HOAs according to these ordinances. If you are not required by law to allow them, you can start to look at the pros and cons.
Allowing short terms rentals can certainly have its drawbacks. This type of business can lead to higher noise levels, damage to properties, and safety concerns. However, it can also generate more income for homeowners which leads to on-time payments of dues. Homeowners will also be motivated to keep their residences clean and well-maintained.
Restrictions on Short Term Rentals
If you decide to allow STRs, there are certain restrictions that you can place upon them. It is important to look at your governing documents to see if there is already information in place regarding this issue. One reasonable restriction is to require residents to notify the board of each rental, complete with the renter’s information. You can also require the renter to identify themselves upon entering the property. It is also good to make sure that homeowners understand that they are responsible for any violations of the governing documents.
Prohibiting Short Term Rentals
If your HOA decides to prohibit short term rentals altogether, and this is in line with local ordinances, there are certain ways to monitor your properties to ensure that none of them are being used for this purpose. Your board can pay an STR monitoring service to monitor the internet and notify you if any properties are listed on websites such as Airbnb. Your board can then levy fines based on any infractions. To do so, the board must decide on the number of days that constitutes a sort term rental, and notify homeowners.
Deciding whether or not to allow short term rentals on your property can be a difficult decision, but one that can have a big impact on your community. For help with the process, contact your HOA management company who can assist you with the many details.