Maybe you bought your property as an investment. Perhaps your circumstances in life have changed, and you now need to downsize – or go bigger. Or your job could be relocating you across the country.
Whatever the reason for wanting to lease your home or condominium, if you live in a community association, it might not be as simple as putting up a “For Rent” sign. In fact, you probably can’t even put up a “For Rent” sign outside your home.
Rules about tenants can vary widely between homeowners and property owners associations (POAs). Some cap the total percentage of homes that can be rented out within a community. Others may also set minimums for the length of leases to avoid homes being used as Airbnbs, vacation homes or other short-term rentals. And, tenants are required to commit to compliance with a community’s rules and regulations.
Before you open up your home to renters, here are a few tips:
- Ask questions – Your association manager or professional management company should be able to provide you with general information regarding rental restrictions and your responsibilities as a landlord. Asking about rentals in your community will give you a sense of whether the benefits outweigh the obligations.
- Read the rules – If you’re leaving your community but maintaining your property, be sure you understand the guidelines, particularly any that apply specifically to non-residents who lease their properties.
- Inform potential tenants – If you’ve found someone who might make an ideal renter, be sure to cover the community’s rules and regulations with them, especially rules regarding parking and pets. Even further, it’s good practice to have them sign a form showing they have read those rules and regulations along with the lease agreement. You can also require tenants to document their responsibility to pay fines if they violate the rules and another noting they will have to vacate your home if multiple violations occur.
- Notify your association – Hand over all documentation to your community association, as well as the names and contact information for all renters and how many pets, if any, they are bringing into your home. Give the association your forwarding address and contact information, as well, should a situation arise that requires the association to contact you.
- Stay current – Just because you don’t live within a community association doesn’t mean you don’t need to remain up to date with what’s going on there. Make sure you’re aware of any changes, notifications, updates, etc. that could impact your tenants. And, of course, you’ll still be responsible for paying association dues. Where applicable, encourage your tenants to stay involved – or at least informed – themselves.
The best rental situation is one that causes little to no disruption to neighbors and your community at large. Although you are no longer living in that community, consider your fellow homeowners and keep up with your property to avoid any minor hiccups or major headaches.
Mike Stonestreet is a 28-year veteran of the professional HOA management industry who has achieved one of the highest education-based designations in the field, that of Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM). Community Association Management Services (CAMS) has been a leading association management company since its inception in 1991. CAMS is a trusted provider of management services for more than 265 associations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. To find out how CAMS can benefit your community, call 910-256-2021, email [email protected], or visit www.CAMSmgt.com.