Can HOA legally force homeowner to stop renting rooms to people?

12 Replies

Dear all,

This is question for my friend.

Can HOA legally force homeowner to stop renting rooms to people?

Anyone experienced this?

They see lots of Airbnb everywhere including in their community but HOA's lawyer sent letter to immediately stop renting rooms to people.

They are in 5 bedroom house and renting only 3 rooms to 3 people. Total no of people in house are 5. They maintain 100% clean quiet house.

Please advise,

Million thanks!

Updated about 1 year ago


Updated about 1 year ago

seems like most residents in the community hates rentals in general. there are many house rentals but seems like they cant stop those house rentals but they want to stop room rentals.

Updated about 1 year ago

HOA in Irving, dallas, texas

@Jaz Patel Can they stop them? That depends on state law, so it's a state specific issue.

One thing they can probably do is fine the homeowner lots of bucks and make it cost prohibitive for the homeowner to rent to Airbnb.

Then they can put a lien on the property and when they go to sell it, have fun negotiating with the HOA.

Start with the underlying HOA documents (Declaration and Bylaws). If there is a prohibition in these documents, then the next step is to check with an attorney to see if it is enforceable. In Texas, HOA's have a fair amount of power and I would suspect your friend is going to have a hard time winning that battle.

HOA regulations determine what a HOA can do. In essence they are the landlord and the HOA regulations is a home owners lease. Violate that lease at your own risk and expense.

My advice would be if he received a letter for the HOA lawyer he better comply asap.

My daughter lives in a POA (property owner assoc.) where the bylaw is clear that the occupant either must be on the deed to the property, and child, grandchild, or parent of someone on the deed. Plus one other person can occupy the residence who is in a relationship with the deeded owner. All occupants must be identified to the POA.

I have tried to no avail to have them understand that if we put the property in a Trust and named my daughter as the beneficiary and she was identified to the POA as the trust beneficiary she can occupy the house. No way, they will not give! So she is 1% owner of the house.

The POA has that rule because a church owned one home and they had way too many church folks coming at a time, taking over the entire beach, playground, etc. for their church use.

But it sure makes it hard for others now, especially in planning for a special needs kid.

In general, yes - an HOA has wide latitude in determining how properties are used. First check the by-laws, covenants and declarations to determine what is allowed and disallowed with regard to this type of rental. If you are unable to find an issue there, then check the Rules & Regulations

If the paragraph disallowing this type of rental is in the first three documents I mentioned above, then this is the type of thing that you can petition your neighbors to overturn.  The homeowners can sign petitions and vote to have a by-law, covenant or declaration changed.  Consult those same documents to tell you how many or what percentage of homeowners need to vote for that change.

If the paragraph disallowing it is in the Rules & Regulations, then you will need to petition the board to change the rules or provide you with a deferral.  If they will not do it, then you will need to lead an effort to remove those board members from the board and replace them with people who think as you do regarding the rules and regulations.

If you are not successful in either changing the governing documents, convincing the board or replacing the board, this is because your neighbors do not want this type of rental in their community. The main thing a Board of Directors of an HOA is charged with is maintaining property values. If it is seen that lots of short term rental traffic in and out of a unit is detrimental to property values, then the board is within its rights. The same applies to room rentals. If non-related, high occupancy usage is deemed to be lowering of property values, then the HOA is within its right there too.

Best of luck to your friend.

Many HOAs have language around rentals in their docs. I know most that I am a part of limit rentals to no term less than one year. Additionally, many specifically say that if you do rent it out, you must sign a lease that rents the entire residence out (not a portion) and the HOA must be provided a copy of the lease. I would assume this language is in your docs, otherwise the HOA would not be allowed to restrict it ... obviously. And yes, they have the power to do so, because your friend legally agreed to the docs when they decided to buy/rent in this community.

No way to accurately answer without knowing what state this is in because laws regarding HOAs vary so much by state. Certain HOA/POA bylaws and CCRs violated the 14th Amendment and Federal Fair Housing Act as recently as the 1980s-90s. I suspect that many restrictions on who can occupy the property violate the 1st Amendment (association) and most property codes (freedom to alienate) unless it is an age-restricted community. Restricting short-term rentals of less than 6-months likely permitted, but must still be in the bylaws or CCRs, approved according to how restrictions are adopted in that HOA/POA.

In short: talk to local counsel.

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