Short-term rentals or Airbnb’s are controversial because of their effects on communities. On the one hand, many homeowners enjoy extra income and appreciate meeting new people when they rent their homes for short periods. 

However, other residents get upset with the noise levels created by these types of rentals and believe they don’t have the same respect for the community as long-term renters.

There are many ways people use short-term rentals for profit, including personal income and having vacation homes making a profit when not in use by the owners. But do these short-term rentals fall under the realm of an HOA or condo community? 

This article will explore the pros and cons of short-term rentals in an HOA community and whether or not they should be allowed. 

What Is a Short-Term Rental?

A short-term rental is any dwelling being rented for fewer than 30 days at a time. These rentals can range from hotels or bed & breakfasts to vacation homes or condos.

Short-term rental companies such as Airbnb and VRBO allow individuals to rent out their homes or apartments for a fee. This will enable them to earn extra income, including the amounts for cleaning and maintenance. 

Some HOAs don’t allow short-term rentals because they believe that it negatively impacts the quality of life for other residents. Others see it as a way to generate additional revenue.

Pros of Short-Term Rentals

Flexibility: Short-term rentals are a great way to earn extra income without the full-time management responsibilities. You can also post your home however many days per year that you want. Some HOAs set annual limits, while others set daily or monthly limits.

Variety: If you frequently travel, renting out your home during those times can help pay the bills. If you can’t take time off during peak vacation season, then posting your property gives you more options and flexibility in how you manage your property. 

Some people have the freedom to choose their work schedule based on their rental plan allowing them to take advantage of in-season rates for seasonal rentals and then use their home for vacation days during the off-seasons.

Building Investment: Many individuals see rental income as an added asset. When they sell the home, they generate a profit. You can also use your rental income as part of the down payment for a new home.

Profitability: Short-term rentals make it easier to turn a profit. If you have multiple properties and don’t have time to run them properly, renting them out can be beneficial. You could also decide that one property isn’t working out while another is doing well, so you cut your losses on the first property and focus on the second.

Cons of Short-Term Rentals

Noise: Some short-term rentals tend to generate more noise than others. Vacation rentals are often filled with families and children during school breaks. Parties, early risers, and late-night noise can add up quickly when you’re trying to live next door.

Safety: Short-term renters tend to be unfamiliar with the community they are staying in. They often don’t know their neighbors or local laws such as noise ordinances or parking rules on the street where they are staying. This can create a safety risk for other locals and the vacationer.

Assessment: Your HOA may assess additional fees when short-term rentals are allowed in your community, but they may also be exempt from dues.

Rental Space: Some HOAs don’t allow tenants to rent out their property altogether, and you may have to pay a fine if you do.

Parking areas: Many neighborhood streets have limited parking spaces, and some vehicles could block another homeowner’s driveway or obstruct the view. This can lead to more arguments between the homeowners in a community.

Property Types: Short-term rentals are not allowed in all HOA communities, so check with your board before posting your property.

Reasons Some HOAs Dislike Short-Term Rentals 

Some residents of HOA communities dislike the idea of short-term rentals because it can negatively impact the quality of life for residents in their communities. Homes being rented out to strangers can be problematic in many cases. 

Some short-term renters don’t respect other neighbors and may not keep quiet at night or make too much noise in general. They may also leave garbage lying around in the HOA community— which could present a big problem if you live in a community with a clean-up committee.

Other complaints include parking issues, and those renting out their homes may not have adequate insurance, making the home’s potential guests liable if there is an accident on their property. 

If your Homeowners Association Management is strict and has rules about overnight guests, short-term renters can get in trouble for breaking these rules and getting fined by the association. 

All things considered, short-term rentals can create significant stress for property owners and neighbors in the area.

How Should Associations Handle HOA Short-Term Rentals?

If you want your HOA community to be safe and protected, then you need to have appropriate policies in place that cover the renting of your home or apartment.

Here are some tips for making sure your HOA board members have a proper procedure in place to protect their community as well as the occupants.

Proper Paperwork 

Create a rental agreement or contract with a clear outline of who can rent the property and how much they would pay per night. You’d want to review each rental contract with the homeowner so they have a complete understanding of what’s expected. 

Some will charge flat rates, while others will offer discounts if the renter stays longer than average. For example, a short-term rental can vary from days to months, and the costs should be adjusted accordingly. 

Establish a Method to Track Renters

If you want to know who is renting within the community, you should use a rental log that tracks all renters. This will allow you to establish a relationship with them and find out what they like about the community and what they don’t like.

This way, you clearly understand their intentions and can find new ideas for keeping your residents and renters happy within the community.

Provide Feedback on Rental Contracts

If a homeowner isn’t following the rules, then it’s your job as one of the HOA board members to ensure the situation is corrected before it gets out of hand.

If the person renting out their home or apartment isn’t following the rules set in place, you should provide feedback on improving vetting their renters. 

Be sure to explain how their renters have impacted other community members and the property itself. Let them know what is expected going forward and inform them that they will need to get approvals for anything not stated within the rules.

Apply Penalties When Necessary

If you feel that a homeowner is non-compliant with the HOAs rules, you should immediately address this issue. For instance, if a renter throws wild parties at their home or apartment and disturbs others in the community, this behavior needs to stop immediately. 

Ensure that the homeowner understands the consequences and what will happen if their renters don’t comply with the rules and regulations.

HOAs are always looking for ways to make the community an enjoyable place to live, but short-term rentals can have a negative effect on your lifestyle, making it more difficult for you to enjoy your time. 

At the end of the day, being respectful and mindful of HOA policies is likely in everybody’s best interest if they want to live in harmony with their neighbors.

Final Words

If you’re considering renting out your home or apartment, be sure to speak with the HOA board and get their approval before proceeding. It’s essential to know the rules and regulations before setting up any short-term rentals.