Condo Boards and STR restrictions

We are looking to invest in a downtown apartment to create an Airbnb.
What is the most efficient way to find out if a particular apartment building is ‘Airbnb friendly’?
We found out that simply seeing if other Airbnb’s are in the building is NOT necessarily an indication that it is allowed. We found a place we thought was perfect but our realtor discovered the condo board disallows STR’s.

It’s probably that those other Airbnbs are operating illegally, not that they have gotten some special permission.

Or they may be listed on Airbnb, but rent to each guest for a month or more, which might be considered to be okay by the HOA.

Quite honestly, most condo HOAs don’t seem to allow strs and the long term renters and owners are hostile to them, with good reason. They don’t feel safe with a constant parade of strangers trooping through, as well as often being loud or otherwise disruptive.


I don’t know about the most efficient, but you definitely should get a copy of their CC&Rs (or whatever their governing documents are called) before making an offer, or make any offer contingent on getting approval for short-term rentals.

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Think I posted this before, but it’s for rental arbitrage, not condo investment:
Introducing Airbnb-friendly apartments

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AND you want to understand the procedure to change them – what vote would it take (often a supermajority for specified terms)?

Understand too whether in your state you are grandfathered into certain CC&R provisions even if they change later. [I believe that this is/was an issue in CA a few years ago.]. But, of course, state laws can and DO change.

I would be very reluctant to buy a condominium that I hoped to make a short-term rental in the U.S. because of legal and HOA changes. Many of those HOA changes might well be warranted if the guests don’t respect the property, have parties or otherwise create a burden for the other property owners.


The first question is if they allow rentals and what the cap is, ask the realtor before you even go. Second is municipality restrictions on STRs. This stuff should be super easy to find out and will let you eliminate a lot of places. Than you can dive in to the documents and find out if STRs are allowed. My impression is STR apartments are rare (at least where I am), I think I’ve only seen them in resort areas. We bought a place that had a 30 day minimum rental so we rent by the month and we love it.

I live in a town whose primary industry is tourism, so yes, resort or tourist towns normally don’t have restrictions on strs, at least here in Mexico. There are several condo complexes and they mostly seem to be owned by people who use them as personal vacation homes, rather than being owned by “investors”, but str them when they aren’t using them themselves. So in many cases, they might be rented out most of the year.
There are also vacation home owners here who aren’t at all interested in doing strs, due to the wear and tear and worse that can happen. They either just leave the place locked up and empty when they aren’t here, or find a responsible local to live there and look after it. Before I had my own place here, I was one of many locals who rented most of the year and then had to find another place to stay for a month or so when the homeowners came down. It was actually a good deal, because most of us either had cheap, or no rent in exchange for making sure the place was kept in good order and clean when the owners arrived.