HOA dispute over rental limits

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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:42 AM   #1
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Default HOA dispute over rental limits

My complex of homes has a rental limit in the CC&Rs. The CC&Rs state that no more than three homes may be rented out at any time. This limit was grandfathered in. Right now, there are 3 rentals (all from the very beginning of the complex 15+ years ago).

I have to move out of the country for 2-3 years, so I requested an exemption to rent out my home. The board denied the request and referred me to the CC&Rs.

What are my options? Iíd lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if I tried to sell. I also canít afford to leave the home vacant. Not moving is not an option.

I can think of some possibilities:

(1) Ignore the board and rent out the home anyway. Whatís the worst that can happen? Iím wondering if the board has made the decision it did because it has to follow the CC&Rs to the letter, not because it is going to penalize me if I rent out
(2) Take or threaten legal action against HOA to force approval. Does this have any chance?

Anything else? Any ideas on what all my options are, and any recommendations on what to do?
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: HOA dispute over rental limits

1) The worst that can happen is that the HOA fines you for failure to follow the CCRs that you agreed to when you purchased your house. If you don't pay, they can go to court for a lien on the house to pay these. (That will screw up your credit and you would owe fines and court costs.) They can issue you a desist order to obey the covenants. They can sue you for failure to follow them, and get an injunction to force you to stop renting the house. Owners really need to read the CCRs closely when they buy a house in a HOA. Even if the CCRs seem reasonable when you purchase, you need to attend HOA meetings and vote on new rules. I have seen too many ridiculous rules set forth by HOA boards including rules on the color of your curtains, feeding birds, the height of your yard (and number of flowers), restrictions on childrens play equipment, prohibitions on flag poles, prohibition of pets walking in a lobby (even though the building allowed pets), prohibition of displaying any signs (even for sale), banning smoking in any public area (even your yard), and so on. I wouldn't own a home in an HOA!

2) This would at least give you a fighting chance. Make sure this is public - public opinion can sometimes make a HOA change its mind. Emphasize the ridiculous, tiny amount of permitted rentals (as a percentage of all units in the complex.) Compare this to statistics that show what percentage of homes in other nearby neighborhoods are rentals. Show that the same units have been rentals for the entire time and that no new rentals have been permitted for 15 years. State that if rentals are going to be permitted, these permitted rentals should rotate so others can use the 3 rental exception and that it is not always the same people who receive this benefit. Show that the tenants will be well screened and detail the exacting qualifications that you require in a tenant.

Another thought, do you have any relatives who currently rent? (I don't normally recommend renting to relatives but ...) Could they live in your house and rent from you (without HOA's knowledge)? You could simply show the HOA that these are your relatives who will be watching your home while you are away on business, so that your home can be maintained and keep to the standards expected in the community.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: HOA dispute over rental limits

I wish to inform you that CC&Rs put various restriction on the use of house. In this regard they may make a provision that the house will be given on rent or will not be given on rent. Further you are therefore to abide by the guidelines but you may request the management board to consider your request to give on rent and allow you to give your premises on rent. Further if majority of house owners intends then this rule may be amended and you may benefit.

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