Short-term Rentals Via Internet Outlets: Three Tips for Homeowner & Condominium Association Boards

Jeffrey R. Schmitt

By Jeffrey R. Schmitt

Community associations continue to struggle with the emergence of the “sharing economy” issues raised by AirBnB, VRBO and other online outlets (see CNN Money article: Why everyone is cracking down on Airbnb).

When addressing these issues, condominium, townhome, and neighborhood association boards should consider the following steps as a proactive approach to maintaining their desired community environment:

  1. Be vigilant. The good news is that you are only a few mouse clicks away from finding out whether your owners are making short term or transient leases. Nearly all of these sharing economy services are online and searchable by location. Additionally, urge other residents to keep an eye out for new faces on a regular basis.
  1. Know the rules. Does your association prohibit short term leasing or lodging? Is permission required to rent? Do tenants have access to all common areas?  The answers to these questions should all be found in your governing document, the declaration or indenture and possibly in your rules and regulations as well. Know the rules of the game and consider whether they should be updated or amended to address emerging issues.

  1. Consider your goals. For some community associations, especially in frequent vacation destinations (Lake of the Ozarks and Branson in Missouri, for example), short-term leasing may be consistent with the community. If most owners reside elsewhere most of the year, leasing on a nightly or weekly basis is welcome and possibly even favorable to property values. If this is the case, taking advantage of the sharing economy may be in everyone’s best interest.

For additional information on short-term rentals, go to No Vacancy – When Bed & Breakfasts Run Afoul of Condominium Communities

You can also watch an interview with Jeff Schmitt on Fox2News discussing short-term rentals.

Posted by Attorney Jeffrey R. Schmitt. Schmitt leads the firm’s Title Litigation practice group and practices in commercial litigation including banking, real estate, construction, and other matters for businesses and individuals.

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