How to Work with an HOA to Rent Your Home
Renting your home should be as simple as putting it up on the market and screening tenants. When you live in a community with a homeowners association (HOA), it can be anything but simple. Mostly because there are rules you’re required to follow. You can’t always do whatever you want to do, including rent your home.
Not every HOA allows owners to rent their property, but if yours does, it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Here’s how to work with your HOA to make it happen.
Read Your HOA Documents
You might not have thought about your HOA docs in years, but it’s time to pull them out and start reading. Go through the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs), the bylaws, and the rules and regulations. Somewhere in all that information will be what you can and can’t do as a homeowner, including restrictions or rules on renting.
Talk to the Board
If the rules are clear, you may be able to skip this step. But if you’ve got questions or need clarification, talk to the board before you do anything. If getting approval is required in order to rent your property, this is a great time to start that process, too. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you have a better outcome and, potentially, a quicker one.
Follow the Process
You might be in a hurry to get your property rented out, but skipping steps or ignoring the process will slow you down long term. If you need approval, get it. If the board has to approve your tenants, disclose that to potential tenants. Build in enough time in your goal of filling the vacancy to allow you to follow the proper procedure. This will save you time and frustration later.
If your HOA doesn’t allow rentals or only under very specific circumstances, ask about exemptions. The HOA may have an economic hardship exemption or some other option. See if you qualify for it, and go for it. If that doesn’t work, you may need to play the long-game of working within the system to (eventually) change the HOA’s rental policy.
Screen Your Tenants
Once your request is granted to rent your property, there are still opportunities to work with the HOA and keep them happy. A big part of that is to screen your tenants so that you’re renting to the best qualified applicants. There’s no guarantee that they’ll keep the property in good condition or avoid loud, late-night parties, but your process can help eliminate the risk (and the fears of the HOA).
Communicate the Rules to the Tenants
Make sure your tenants are clear on the rules and expectations of living in the community. If flags or outdoor decor isn’t allowed, make sure they know that. If there are strict rules about parking, share this information with your tenants. Set your tenants up for success in the HOA (and keep the board happy) by making sure they know the rules. Your lease agreement should include language about following HOA rules, as well, in case they become a problem later and you need to evict them.
Once you know you can rent, it’s time to find tenants and become a landlord. If it sounds stressful or you’re not sure where to begin, work with a property management company who knows how to find and retain the best renters. Contact ERA American Real Estate today and let us help you become a successful landlord.