Short-Term Renting Your HOA Property:
What You Need To Know
If your home is in a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) community, you’d better check the rules and regulations if you want to rent out your property anytime.
The Colorado Tourism Office reported there were more than 77.7 million visitors to Colorado in 2015, spending $19.1 billion. This huge burst of visitors inspired many new participants into the world of Short-Term Renting (STR).
Short-term rentals moved to the forefront when websites such as AirBnB and Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) emerged as a great way for people to pick up a extra cash by renting out a room, home or condo for a night, few days or a week. Visitors are turning away from the hotels and opting for a short-term rental of a condo, cabin or other property instead.
Every homeowner buying property in an HOA community should receive a copy of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) at their closing. The CC&Rs will spell out all the rules you have to abide by. It’s wise to ask for the CC&Rs, a copy of bylaws and minutes from HOA meetings before you decide to buy a property or decide you want to rent out your property, and have an experienced real estate attorney or HOA attorney review your documents.
In Colorado, many people have a second home in the mountains or in a ski resort area and rent out that property during the times they’re not there. The community’s governing documents may already spell out rules to stop the STRs. If not, many of the HOA communities throughout the state are beginning to stop these short-term rentals by enacting new rules stating security and privacy concerns and the quiet enjoyment of their property. Some cities and towns have adopted and approved new ordinances that govern STRs too.
HOAs usually have regulations covering how many guests an owner may have at one time, how long a guest can stay and how freely the guest(s) can move about the property. Those rules covered guests who were staying for a relatively short time while the owner was present and not STRs where the owner is not present.
In most HOA communities, the HOA will give notice to a property owner and/or levy a fine if the owner is in violation of the rules, policies or regulations. The owner typically will have the opportunity for a hearing in front of the HOA Board and/or members. If the owner doesn’t pay the fine(s), they may find themselves in court from a lawsuit filed against them by the HOA. It’s not difficult to prove the owner rented a property. There are now companies who monitor the web, and for a fee - report any properties for rent to the HOA. Additional legal fees by the HOA attorneys will be added to the property owner’s fines and the HOA can file a lien against the owner’s property. In Colorado, the HOA may foreclose on its lien, in the same manner a mortgage company can foreclose.
If your property is cleared to use as a short-term rental, check your local and state laws and zoning boards. Don’t forget, you may be subject to certain tax liabilities and other laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
If you find yourself in a situation wherein the HOA has fined you, placed a lien on your property, given you notice or filed a judicial foreclosure on your property, call a qualified and experienced HOA defense attorney before the situation progresses any further.
Your HOA may have restrictions on renting your property for short-term rentals. If you are considering purchasing an HOA property as a short-term rental investment, it is prudent o have an experienced HOA or real estate attorney review all your HOA documents before closing.
To schedule a consult with the experienced lawyers at Gantenbein Law Firm, call 303-618-2122.