HOA Regulations and Short-Term Rentals: What You Need to Know

Short-term rentals have ballooned in recent years, kicked off in large part by the company Airbnb, which offers vacation rentals via private properties. Founded in 2008, Airbnb now has 31 offices worldwide, has hosted 400 million guests since its launch, and offers listings in 191 countries. 

For many people, Airbnb and other short-term rental options have evolved as an effective way to make a lot of money fast. As such, there has been an increase in real estate purchases for the express purpose of short-term rentals in many cities across the nation. In response, cities and HOAs have passed rules limiting or regulating these rental types. Here’s what you should know–

Issues Faced by HOAs

Homeowners’ and condo owners’ associations (HOAs) should be wary of short-term rentals, as these rentals create more issues for communities than they solve. To be sure, some common complaints expressed by HOAs and HOA community members include that short-term rentals:

  • Lead to excessive noise and pollution on a property;
  • Contribute to the expedited degradation of shared living areas and facilities, such as HOA gyms; 
  • Create a safety issue, and therefore a liability issue, within a shared living space;
  • Undermine the sense of community and belonging that a neighborhood may experience otherwise. 

What Can an HOA Do?

Many cities and HOAs throughout the country have passed regulations regarding Airbnb and other short-term rentals. For example, Boston passed a law stating that as of January 2019, short-term rentals (rental period of 28 days or less) in Boston will need to register with the City of Boston. Similarly, many HOAs have prohibited, rentals, short-term rentals, or have mandated that condo owners live within their property for a certain amount of time before renting the property. 

For HOAs, taking proactive steps now that address the practice of short-term rentals is strongly recommended. For example, HOAs can add language to existing bylaws prohibiting short-term rentals and specifically defining what a short-term rental is (i.e. fewer than 30 days, 60 days, etc.). Additionally, adding an amendment to HOA bylaws that specifically outlines how breaches of this rule will be addressed, such as the issuance of a warning followed by a fine until the problem is remedied, is a legal protection for homeowners’ associations. 

Our Condominium Association Lawyer Can Help

HOAs are tasked with navigating the issue of short-term rentals is a way that is both effective and that is legally sound. At the law office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, our lawyer can help. Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, has over 30 years’ experience working with condominium and homeowners’ associations and can provide you with the legal assistance you need in creating bylaws, amending existing regulations, enforcing regulations, and navigating disputes with owners. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please call our law office today or send us a message with your information and a description of the issue you’re facing.