An HOA stands for Home Owner Association. The HOA can set standards and rules for the properties within the association. One such restriction might be the right to rent out your home. In other words, rent out under a short-term lease on Airbnb.
Because an HOA can restrict the homeowner’s ability to properly run their Airbnb, it is important that a prospective Airbnb buyer review the HOA on a property. Even though an HOA has no mention of a covenant on Short-term leases, it is possible that it can be added to the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCRs) by the HOA management at a later date (usually by a vote or proxy voting).
How Can I Prevent an HOA From Forbidding Airbnb?
The best way to prevent an HOA from forbidding Airbnb is to be present at all board meetings or at least review the notes from the board meeting. Usually, before an HOA meeting, there will be an agenda; you should always be mindful of this agenda so you know if they are covering Short-term rentals and be prepared to discuss your viewpoint.
Experts know that by being active in your HOA you will have better-forwarned knowledge and can speak with the voting members should an issue be discussed regarding Airbnb. Having a active anti-Airbnb HOA can destroy your business.
What Are the Common Complaints About Airbnb by Neighbors?
The most common complaints by neighborhoods are noise and parking. Generally, if these two items are not violated, the neighbors of your Airbnb will not have any issues with your business. By far, these are the most common complaint to HOAs and city hall. A distant third would be issues with parties, but parties tends to be an offshoot to noise and parking.
A host can handle the noise by having a noise monitor installed in the house. Also, in your Guest Manual be sure and include the noise requirements. If your HOA restricts loud noises after 10 PM be sure it’s on your rules. Preplan what you are going to say or text if your guests do trigger the noise monitor. Preplan a friendly reminder by text that their noise is above the allowable; or that a neighbor notified you of the noise. Also, assuming you have an outside camera, stop parties in their track if your guest is planning one.
Just a note, be sure and test your noise monitor. And make sure the setting is correct and lenient. You don’t want to call them if their toddler had a 30-second scream fest.
If your guest has given you the list of members in their stay, there should not be a problem with parking. If, however, they have friends who are dropping in to visit, make sure they know where to park. You don’t want them parking in the neighbor’s house or cluttering up the road parking. If your neighborhood is notoriously skimpy on parking be sure and let them know how many cars can be parked at the house.
It might be a good idea to mention parking in your listing and of course in your guest manual if parking is an issue.
Can I Do Airbnb Even If the HOA Prohibits it?
You, can, however, that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences to your decision. It’s best to follow the HOA rules or move on and choose a different property for Airbnb. By violating the HOA you can be subject to fines. In some cases the fine can be increased with each violation. When fines are not paid you might find yourself in a lawsuit which can get expensive.
The more active an HOA is, the more push back you will get if the HOA prohibits Airbnb. Most active HOAs are the expensive one. It is highly unlikely an HOA charging $15 a month is going to take you to court. Your aversion to risk and conflict will have to be weighed agains your end goal. But all in all, there’s other properties to chose from.
Can City Hall Doom an Airbnb Property?
Most states have laws regarding tenant landlord relations; a few might have laws regarding short-term rentals (Airbnbn). The definition of short-term rental (in most states), is a stay of under 30 days.
Most laws regarding short-term rentals are guided by city ordinances. Thus, if a city does not allow short-term rentals your property used as an Airbnb may be prohibited. Some large cities, such as New York, only allow Airbnb if the owner of the property is also staying in the property.
Over-regulation of Airbnb by a city is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, if you have to have yearly certification and only in specific areas, it means that city has already decided on the outcome of Airbnb. Another city, with no mention of Airbnb, may address it later and not adapt policies in your favor.
Also, keep in mind, if the City Hall of your prospective city makes it difficult for you with extra regulations, it makes it hard for your competitors as well; which can work to your advantage if you’re willing to jump through the hoops.
There is no psychic knowledge when it comes to short-term rentals. As with HOAs, keeping active and knowledgable in the city ordinances and proposed ordinances is key to your success.