There is a growing trend to rent out your home (or a room in your home) on a part-time basis. While this trend started in cities known for their tourism, it is becoming more common in suburban areas of the United States, meaning they are often popping up in homeowners’ associations.
This presents a question from many board members: “are our homeowners allowed to rent out their home on a short-term basis?”
The short answer: it depends.
Can residents rent out their homes?
Whether or not your residents can rent out their homes depends largely on the rules and laws regulating the HOA and the areas surrounding the HOA. Some specific areas to consider are:
- Municipal restrictions:many cities, counties, and other municipalities legally restrict short-term rentals and short-term renter activities. These restrictions vary in scope and severity. In Austin, Texas, for example, all parties are prohibited at certain times each night. Other cities depend on their zoning laws to limit short-term rentals.
- CC&Rs restrictions:Many HOA’s CC&Rs (a community’s deed-like restrictions called the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) restrict or outright ban short-term rentals.
- Rental restrictions: If you have any renters in your community, they may be subject to special restrictions regarding their ability to engage in short-term renting of their space. Most leases don’t allow short-term rentals or sublets at all, and some require the landlord’s written permission.
How do residents feel about short-term rentals?
Many HOA members feel passionate about short-term rentals and whether or not they should be allowed.
On one hand, you have residents who are in favor of protecting the individual’s property rights. Usually, members who are pro-short-term rentals feel that the effect on property values and late-night activity is minimal.
What steps do we take if we want to regulate short-term rentals?
In order to regulate short term rentals, your documents must have restrictions and rules related to both property use and leasing terms.
If your governing documents are silent on both those issues, your association needs to pursue a document amendment per your governing documents.
Remember that any document amendment requires a significant level of support from your membership.
If you’re interested in learning more about what restrictions are in place in your community, we recommend checking out the following resources:
- Local regulations about short term rentals
- Your city’s local zoning authority
Have more questions about short-term rentals? Here at JellyBird, you can touch base with your community manager to get all your HOA management questions answered.