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Short Term Rentals A Neighborhood Problem

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Q: How can a homeowners’ association regulate owners renting out their houses to short term guests?  If the association were to enforce with a penalty, how can it collect on it? (E.H., via e-mail)

A: The place to start is knowing what your governing documents and local laws say about the subject. For example, some municipalities limit rentals in residential areas to a 30-day minimum, so violations could be reported to the local code enforcement agency.

Most documents limit the use of homes to “residential use.” These provisions have been extensively litigated in courts across the country and there is not a bright line test defining what activities constitute residential or commercial uses. However, courts have generally been reluctant to apply a residential use provision as a restriction on short-term rentals, and there is at least one appellate court decision in Florida to that effect.

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