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Should I join my condo board?

The board currently doesn’t allow short term leasing (ie, Airbnb). But I feel they should get with the new world and allow it if it is a spare bedroom (vs the entire unit).

Do you think I should join the board so at least I can have some influence and share with other board directors on what hosting is like and get them to understand it better vs totally rejecting it out of fear (vs logic).


Of course. You need to get it legit. Not good idea to do this activity if it’s not allowed. It will soon backfire you

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true but if every entrepreneur thought to themselves before inventing the new big idea “hmm…would this break a few rules or not”, there wouldn’t be services like Uber or Airbnb that we all enjoy. Yes, Uber and Airbnb were both illegal when they were first launched. In fact, Uber is still banned in many cities. I totally get that one should follow the rules & regulations but at the same time, we should also challenge it if it doesn’t make sense.

Same sex marriage wasn’t even legal until recently but people fought for their rights and won.

People in your building will soon see your activity.
I don’t know what kind of risk you have, it’s depend I guess your condo rules.

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My HOA board has an opening and I plan to run the next time they have a meeting. The rules and regs I received when I bought my place do not prohibit STR – no minimum length of rental period. However, I heard from a new owner that her rules and regs say a minimum of three months (did they make this change without a majority vote?). Soooo, just in case, I want to be on that board!

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I am on our condo board and find that the huge majority of them are traditional old stick-in-the-muds who don’t like anything to change, ever. (And I’m saying that as the oldest board member - in years).

My HOA tolerates STR but only just. They are more than likely to clamp down eventually. But the reason they put up with it so far is because I keep a very close eye on the guests and make sure that they are quiet and respectful. Different HOAs have different rules but my one single vote against the boring old folk won’t make a difference if push comes to shove.

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Ah! I wondered how you were doing it in NYC and whether you rented or owned. Glad to know you own. I support measures that make sure affordable rental apartments stay in the hands of working New Yorkers.

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Hi Catskill Girl,

I’m in Florida :slight_smile:

The HOA puts up with it for now because whether they like it or not, this is a tourist area and STRs are always going to happen. At the moment, the hotels don’t mind and because we’re a resort city, the authorities are OK with it too as long as we pay the bed tax.

Luckily I own my apartment and by partner owns the rental so we have no landlord problems.

I am on the HOA BOD. If they ever ban STR they would need to rename the island to Foreclosure Island.


So it makes sense to join the board right?

Yes, definitely join the board for the that reason and just to be informed /have your say on any other issues of interest.

would being on the board increase the chances of folks finding out about my airbnb activities? it would literally be like breaking bad lol. i’ve tried to stay in the DL the past year in terms of condo activities because I kind of want to stay in the shadow of not being discovered/identified as a host.

let’s not get into the whole “you should host legally” discussion. airbnb founders started listing their unit illegally. I bet more than 50% of the listings are in violation of some form of law simply because these laws are outdated.

this is purely a discussion of what is the best way to 1) influence HOA and 2) get away with hosting on the DL. lol

I am now licensed – applied the day it became a requirement with the city – but I suspect I am one of a very few who are legal – no one is actually enforcing the statute. I’m starting to feel kind of stupid, paying the 7.5% tax when no one else seems to be doing it.

Oh, sorry, @jaquo!! Why did I think you were in NYC? Ugh!

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Is there even such a thing as an affordable rental apartment in New York? The last apartment that I rented was in Harlem, on 131st Street, 2 bedroom 5th floor walk up and it was $2500 a month. Nine years ago! Luckily my husband and I both had good jobs and could afford it.

I think that someone who wants to actually live in Manhattan and have their own apartment needs to earn $80k a year. I’m not talking about a studio in Astoria, but an actual apartment in Manhattan.

I don’t know what the answer is for affordable housing in New York but I’m not convinced that Airbnb hosting is the root of the problem.

Initially it sounded as though either your board currently allowed STR’s and you were hoping to keep it that way, or you were not renting your place but wanted to be able to legally. Now it’s clear you’re already renting though your HOA prohibits it.

You will get caught sooner or later, count on it. Indeed, if you join the board of your HOA and begin lobbying for STR’s, it is more likely it will be sooner rather than later.

I would recommend that you suspend your listing for the time being and join the board. Propose they allow STR’s and be prepared with information and arguments to counter those who don’t want it. Figure out how to paint it in the most positive light possible, and outline the potential benefits for the entire association as well as you. Let the board know how you will keep problems and issues contained and minimized. Counter the horror stories board members will dig up with the fact that these things are extremely rare and the benefits outweigh the risks.

I am on the board of a tiny HOA. Changing the HOA rules is not for the faint of heart. I helped write the documents that govern this two unit building, and specifically had inserted that no unit can be rented for less than three months. I also ensured that the definition of whole unit was part of that clause. [MA standard practice is to include pages and pages of language that must be included in any lease should a unit become a rental, even for a short time, so that verbage is in there as well.] So, this HOA doesn’t allow short term rentals for a whole unit, doesn’t allow short term rentals of a room if the resident party is not the owner, and does allow short term rentals of a room if the owner is also occupying the unit.

Had no interest in a party house with a shared wall. This has become a real issue around here. Both sides were happy to sign this document.

I realize that this is not for everyone, but with a small condo building with no shared amenities [unless you count the driveway], this felt prudent.

I suspect that both sides will end up renting in those 3 month increments to take a sabbatical, travel, short term contract in another city at some point. That is different than having different groups of people tromping through the yard and shared back porch constantly.

Unfortunately, it is very hard for working New Yorkers to find apartments in all the boroughs. That’s why many people are working to keep rent stabilzation alive. Airbnb is certainly not the root of the city’s real estate problem, but it has greatly exacerbated it. Hence the actions by the state attorney general and other city representatives and elected officials like Linda Rosenthal. Plus, Air’s own campaign in NYC to advertise One Host One Home, and their large scale dumping of hosts with multiple properties. Lots and lots of news and opinion out there on that, but I sense from your username we may be on different sides of that issue and that’s cool. There’s definitely legitimate arguments for and against all of it.

My HOA has no time restrictions for renting. When I first started, two of the board members were really positive and wanted to know all about how much money I was making. Then one of them (who does not live on the property; the other one does) changed her tune once Boulder changed to licensing STR. She’s actually quite a contrary person, in general. What I said to both of them (to shed a positive light) is that I am on-site at least weekly, maintaining my yard, picking up garbage in the common areas and the parking lot, and I help with the gardening (we have the WORST landscaping company maintaining the property). As far as guests coming and going who they don’t know, I pointed out that they really don’t know any of the long-term tenants, and these tenants have friends coming and going (mine just happen to have suitcases). I also pointed out that one of the units houses four rowdy male college students and they are stuck with them for the length of the lease. My place has such a high nightly rent that I don’t get (or allow, if they inquire) young “rabble rousers”. I also said that if push comes to shove, my teenage daughter and I will move in between guests and, well, she has a lot of friends, some of whom I don’t even know (yet), and if their music gets too loud or the police show up, they have my number. “It takes a village to raise a teenager”, and let them know I put a restraining order on her former boyfriend. I haven’t heard a word since. (I said all of this in the nicest, most caring and sympathetic tone possible). I also pointed out that I am in a unique situation and it is doubtful that other owners would be able to comply with the city’s new standards for STRs so it would be unlikely that other owners would follow suit.

thanks all for your comments, especially folks on the HOA board. ultimately I do agree with you that no one wants a party condo. my ultimate goal is not to maximize profit as an investor and let anyone rent my unit to do whatever, I am honestly just trying to get additional income to help with the mortgage (with very strict vetting process) and I hope I am able to get my HOA to agree that a live-in host/owner of the unit is allowed to rent out the extra bedroom via STR. Because there won’t be parties or major risks due to the fact the owner lives in the same unit. ultimately this is better than many long term tenants whom smoke/party and really don’t give a shit about the amenities. Airbnb travelers honestly just don’t use any of the amenities (or very rarely).

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