By now, many community associations are familiar with websites like AirBNB.com and VRBO.com. These sites, which are open to the public and generally do not require the payment of a fee to browse, allow property owners to post pictures and information about their properties in hopes of securing several weeks’ worth of renters.
However, owners and community associations alike should take heed, as this classifieds-style approach to renting properties is not without risk and possible municipal regulation. Community associations may wish to consider implementing rental policies to ensure residents are properly vetting incoming renters, as well as ensuring renters are well aware of the property rules and restrictions.
Online sites offer renters the opportunity to rent for periods ranging from a long weekend to a couple months, depending on renters’ needs and reasons for the trip. Accordingly, a community association should ensure its governing documents and deed restrictions properly address issues including:
Of course, additional terms and provisions may be required, depending on the unique nature of the building and its location. What’s more, many municipalities – including New York City – maintain regulations on short-term rentals, which can place community associations and individual unit owners at risk of fines and penalties.
There exists a long-standing regulation prohibiting the rental of a residential property for shorter than 30 days. In the words of one property manager in Manhattan, “[o]wners don’t want weekenders or other short-term stays because it turns their home atmosphere into a hotel atmosphere with visitors who can be loud, disruptive, rude, and simply not use the care required to help keep the community clean, safe and free of damage….”
This comment brings us to the final point about short-term rentals: They’re not always worth it. In exchange for a few weeks’ worth of income from out-of-town guests, the individual unit owner and surrounding residents could quickly find themselves subject to unruly behavior congruent with a vacation-like atmosphere. In addition, short-term renters do not have the same loyalty to maintaining a property as a unit owner, and are simply not invested in going the extra mile to avoid damage and disruption – a notion which could end up costing an owner more in the long run.
If you are considering your options with regard to short-term rentals, please do not hesitate to contact Griffin Alexander, P.C. in New York: (212) 374-9790, Randolph, New Jersey: (973) 366-1188, or East Brunswick, New Jersey: (732) 514-6601 today.
415 Route 10
Randolph, NJ 07869
East Brunswick Office
197 Route 18 South
Suite 3000, South Wing
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Mount Laurel Office
309 Fellowship Road
East Gate Center, Suite 200
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
New York Office
New York, NY 10004