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Shutting down from regulations instead of COVID

Got a letter from my Homeowner’s Association saying I must refrain from short-term rentals. The minimum rental is now 30 days and all rental agreements must be submitted-to and approved-by the HOA board. I unlisted from Airbnb after reading the letter. Two other listings that were in my HOA are gone now. Two more still remain, but they are private rooms and different rules apply. This is the second time in 3 months that I feel like I fell asleep at the wheel, although I’m not sure if knowing about it sooner would’ve changed much.

From a hosting perspective, I suppose it couldn’t have come at a better time. My last Airbnb guest checked out this morning, I have no more reservations on the calendar at all due to COVID-19, and I probably wouldn’t have hosted another reservation before September, even if COVID disappeared by the end of May.

From a financial perspective, it’s disappointing, but not devastating. Back in 2015, I planned an accelerated mortgage payoff for July 1, 2020 to coincide with my oldest son starting college in August 2020. I’ve been expecting both the money previously spent on the mortgage plus the rental income to help pay for my son’s tuition and housing, but he has been awarded renewable merit scholarships worth more than I earn from Airbnb in a year.

My long-term plan for my listing is to completely renovate it and move into it when I retire, but that’s still 10 to 15 years away. I have a few months to regroup and decide what to do. I will pursue an exception from the HOA, but I expect nothing will come of it. I will probably go back to renting month-to-month like I did in the 2 years prior to listing on Airbnb. It was actually more profitable and a lot less work. My wife is already looking forward to not having turnovers.

On the brighter side, I ended my hosting career on a high note: In 15 1/2 months of hosting, I hosted 48 reservations, made Superhost 5 times in a row, and have a “perfect” 5-star rating across the board.


Yes, I put perfect in quotes because it’s only perfect by rounding error: I received one 4-star for Accuracy and one 3-star for Location.

I had a lot of fun and the information on this forum made it possible, so THANK YOU!

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Wow what a kick in the gut. Did the HOA actually hold a vote? If so how did it come to pass that you did not get a chance to vote and more importantly lobby for STR’s . … with only 4-5 in the entire HOA i doubt there were actual problems, more likely a whiny power obsessed board member with nothing better to do. I would not be willing to just give in, most HOA’s require a vote of the membership to change the rules.

Good luck going forward

RR

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@Brian_R170

A few years ago my Dad’s HOA did the same thing and made rentals a minimum of 30 days so no short term rentals allowed.

In his case, the HOA covenants had provisions governing condo rentals so the HOA board did an amendment to add a minimum term of rental. If they had made a significant change like banning all rentals, 2/3 of the owners would have to vote in favor if the change.

The irony is they did it to “preserve property values” because the property would be viewed as undesirable because no one wants to live beside an STR. I think the opposite of that is true. The STR income opportunity let’s that property command a larger price.

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I’m so sorry to hear this, and wish you all the best. You have been a huge asset to this forum as well. Be safe, be well.

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I would argue that making a 30 day minimum is a significant change. I hate HOA’s, they usually do not even allow chickens!

But seriously, banning STR’s or Chickens potentially takes away a persons ability to feed themselves.

RR

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Congratulations, that’s wonderful and you must be so proud.

May I ask why you didn’t go back sooner if that’s the case?

I hope you will stick around. Your dispassionate and informative posts have been a valuable addition. Your good sense and generosity with your time and your knowledge on a wide range of topics is impressive. In fact I was going to ask you if you have any ideas why my dishwasher isn’t working. :wink: On top of all that you have a great sense of humor. And if you do get the chance to go back to STR, it would be great to go back in informed about everything that’s going on with Airbnb. So please don’t abandon the forum.

If I were you I’d leave it listed as RTB with rule sets for 30 days or more so if someone is using Airbnb for that kind of rental they will see you. A lot can happen in 10-15 years and I wouldn’t assume it’s a forever ban.

OTOH, I won’t be surprised to see a lot more regulation of Airbnb across the nation. Fear of outsiders, need for affordable housing will fee into anti-Airbnb sentiment. Many people who said “I’m not taking LTR housing off the market!” will find that yes, indeed, they were. @Chris was saying he could see the effect on rents weeks ago. And while I was skeptical of seeing instant results due to airbnbs converting to LTR, he’s not wrong about the overall effect of covid on rents.

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Those are beauties. I’m going to wear my chicken shirt today in your honor.

lex

I won’t get into the politics of HOAs. :wink:

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All it takes is a few complaints of people rumbling around with suitcases at odd hours and knocking on the wrong door, let alone a party, for an association to start thinking about quality of life, wear and tear, and liability. I agree that restrictions and regulations are likely to increase in general regarding STRs.
I have a friend on a condo board, and she says they are immediately notified by residents when someone tries to STR. “Do they think we don’t notice?” she says, bemused.

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It was 100% so that I could keep the property maintained to my standards. I was appalled by how my renters treated the property, both inside and out.

I thought about that, but I don’t want to take long-term rentals through Airbnb at all if I can’t do credit and background checks before accepting.

There are some vocal STR opponents, including a woman who is a realtor, former board member, and currently a city council member. The shooting homicide last June at the Airbnb 1/2 mile away didn’t help, either. It wasn’t within my HOA, but close enough everyone knew about it.

Unfortunately, I had bad guests that threw a party just 5 weeks into my hosting career, so even my own STR could’ve been used as an example (never mind that the state actually passed a law banning parties and events at vacation rentals last year).

Interestingly, my listing went unnoticed for a few months and probably would’ve continued to do so. However, the state passed a law requiring registration of all short-term rentals with the cities, so I registered in January and I’m certain that’s how the HOA learned my listing was an STR.

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So sorry to hear that, Brian. It may be that the HOA has decided that this is a temporary measure because of the current chaos? It may be that you can get things back to normal one day (if you want to, that is). I took on our HOA some years ago and made them realise that they need to stop reading the garbage on the internet and test the reality. I asked them to give me six months to prove it. As I say, this was several years ago and I’m still going strong.

However, what I really want to say is to echo KKC’s comments:

Don’t leave us - you have a lot of experience to impart around here - and a lot of us see you as a friend too.

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I don’t believe there is anything preventing you from doing that with Airbnb. I wouldn’t think that most people using LTR would use Airbnb, but if for example a baseball player (if MLB did that, I don’t think they will though) wanted a place, they don’t want a very long term contract.

Congratulations and well done for your son!!

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No HOA here, but several entire home and home-stay (like mine) listings. There is a party going on at at rental house. Woman posted on the neighborhood groups (FB and NextDoor) and then had the gall to make a fake reservation and tick me off for having a whole house rental that was “breaking the rules.” Someone referred her to the Gestapo to report the homeowners. Many told her that if all the folks there were not leaving the property but just partying and possibly self-quarantining (no movement of coming and going, by her own admission) then she should butt out.

I think she should have asked the tenants what’s up instead of going around town and sending reservation requests to AirBnB owners.

Grrrr…

Thanks for the update @Brian_R170

I’ve learned a lot from you and I continue to be impressed, not only with the detail of your posts, but with your attitude, as exemplified in this one. Instead of :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: regarding the HOA you actually have thought it out and have a back up plan.

It would seem the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Well Done!

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I thought Airbnb forbids getting a guests info before accepting a reservation? Background and credit checks require a decent amount of personal info. I also don’t think Airbnb allows you to collect real security deposits.

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When I posted, my attitude was aided by just the right amount of 1792 Bourbon. :upside_down_face:

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There’s a host @georgygirlofairbnb who has posted about this extensively. Maybe she will chime in. I obviously know little about whole house LTR.

Brian : KKC notified me to chime in.
HOA’s have a lot of power and if their boards follow the rules and prohibit STR, then they are hard to fight.
I would never ever at all ever use AirBnb for any kind of LTR. You are probably best renting through Zillow, through a realtor, through other local sources, and through announcements on NextDoor.
It is probably a good time to throw in the towel on STR.
I hope you make money and have an easier time going forward. I may close down one of my properties and convert it over too. ( I am not in an HOA ).
And we all need to be very concerned about new local regulations that can arise to shut many of us down. Fear factor is strong.
A tsunami has occured.

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Thanks. I hope you and yours are well.

I fought our HOA for 2 months. Make them show you in writing They either have to have a covenant change that requires 50% of the vote plus one or some other sort of amendment to the roles that they have the authority of jurisdiction to change. Don’t take it lying down if they’re acting willy-nilly and not on authority

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