If you are seeing a lot of unfamiliar faces coming and going from a unit in your Association, it is possible that the owner is renting his unit on a short term basis. The Short Term Rental (“STR”) market is thriving worldwide, through such well-known websites as AirBnB and Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) to name a couple. But what does this mean for your Association and how do you deal with it?

Start with your documents. What do they allow? What do they prohibit? Can you realistically amend them? How much time and effort are you willing to put into any amendments? Answering these critical questions on the front end can save you lots of time and money.

If your documents already contain provisions such as, “No unit can be leased for less than six months,” STRs would be violating the documents. In that case, the Association is required to prohibit transient guests, it is just a matter of enforcing your documents. There are many other ways to allow STRs to occur within your Association peacefully, including proactively passing well-thought-out and targeted rules to help quell bad rental behaviors.

There are four simple things to help you in this process:

  1. Know your Documents
  2. Know your Options
  3. Know who is in your Units
  4. Know who to contact when an issue arises.

Finally, make sure that you keep your unit owners informed as to what the Board is doing and why. Nothing creates problems within an association faster than when some unit owners think you are doing things secretly or just to get them. Communication is the key.

Good luck and don’t be afraid to ask for help.