Home-Sharing Apps: How Do They Impact Your Community?

Over the past several years, home-sharing apps and short-term rentals have increased in popularity. It’s easy to see why – homeowners who wish to temporarily rent out their space enjoy some extra income, while renters are excited to save money by not booking a hotel. It’s a win-win scenario that appears to benefit both parties, right?

Well, the answer to that will vary depending on who you ask. While the homeowner and renter may be happy with this particular transaction, neighbors and those who live in a community with short-term rentals may have the opposite opinion.

In this article, we’ll cover how home-sharing apps and short-term rentals can impact a community and ways to make this a win-win-win scenario for your neighborhood.

The Negatives

Short-term rentals tend to attract vacation renters who are looking for a cheaper, cozier alternative to hotels. With vacation renters can come some potential disturbances within your community.

Noise – Whether they are on vacation or utilizing the rental space to host a party, short-term renters could lead to noise disturbances within your neighborhood.

Safety – Short-term rentals could also lead to safety issues within your community, such as excess traffic leading to street parking or the community’s single gate code being shared.

Homeowner Liability – Since short-term renters will only be spending a short time within your community, it is possible that they may not know the community’s rules when it comes to amenities or parking. If the renters are not properly informed, this could lead to excess violations, which would fall on the homeowner and could lead to heavy fines and their amenities access being revoked.

What Authority Can the HOA Board Hold Over Temporary Rentals?

The answer to this question will depend on where you live. To know what authority your HOA board can hold over short-term rentals within your neighborhood, you first need to know the local law.

Some states will allow cities to issues bans of short-term rentals, so there may already be a ban present in your area. If there isn’t a ban present, look to your governing documents to see if there are any current rules in place that prevent homeowners from renting out their homes.

Since each association is different, once you’ve established what rules are present within your community, we recommend consulting with your association’s attorney. You should further clarify what can and cannot be restricted when it comes to short-term rentals and whether or not an amendment will need to be made to your governing documents.

Solutions

There are some solutions that can help prevent issues with short-term rentals before they even happen.

Share the Rules: Open the doors of communication with homeowners and provide them the resources needed to be responsible when renting out their homes. Send reminders of the following via e-blast or a post on your community website so homeowners can share this information with renters:

  • Community Rules: Remind homeowners that they are liable for any damage or disruption caused by renters and that they need to share the community rules with renters to avoid any accidental violations.
  • Rental Rules: Since homeowners may not be present while renters are enjoying their stay, request that they set clear rules when it comes to excessive noise, street parking, and using the community’s amenities.

Revoke Privileges: While making the rules clear for all short-term renters should help with ensuring that peace is maintained in your community, there is a chance that some renters will disregard the rules.

If you notice this happening multiple times with various renters of the same household, revoking that homeowner’s access to the HOA amenities or assessing additional fines may be necessary. When sharing your community’s rules with homeowners, be sure to let them know that this is a possible consequence they could be facing.

Since short-term rentals can be a great financial resource for homeowners, we hope that these tips help bring a compromise to your community that keeps everyone safe and happy—a win-win-win scenario! To learn more about how to better serve your community and manage your responsibilities, check out our online training course for HOA board members and sign up today.

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