Condo, HOA, and what to look out for

3 Replies

I'm looking to purchase a condo. The initial purpose is to live in as a primary and rent out a room to a friend. My goal would be to have it paid off in 2-3 years and keep it as a rental. I've been told that in this HOA owners are able to rent it out. I was wondering the best ways to verify that? And if anyone has ever since HOA's change over time to not allow it? Or if it is common practice to have a more expensive HOA if it is rented out? Thanks for all the help and insight!

We live in an association-maintained neighborhood with an HOA. You would need to find the contact information for the property management company and ask your questions of them directly. They should be able to provide you with a copy of the bylaws that govern the rules of the neighborhood.

Some neighborhoods have a threshold of say, 20% or so, that they allow to be rental properties. Other neighborhoods don't have a restriction at all or have a total restriction on rentals. As for if the bylaws were to change, that usually requires a vote of all of the property owners to change the bylaws and it requires a very large percentage usually of affirmative votes for that to happen. Changing the bylaws of an HOA isn't always a very easy process. I would imagine that you may be "grandfathered" in anyway if you purchased and rented your property prior to any rules changing. We have a neighbor who installed a flag pole before the rules were changed about them and she was able to keep hers even after they were no longer allowed. 

As for the cost of dues in an HOA, those are typically determined by the age of the property, the level of maintenance required and whether the HOA is putting away enough in reserves as they are required to do so for capital expenditures like new roofs, road work on private roads, maintaining driveways, etc.. We are allowed to rent our townhomes out in our neighborhood and I don't believe the cost of dues is different because we're allowed to do that. 

But first, get in touch with the board of directors or property management company to see what they say about everything. Every HOA is a little different.  I'm in MN and I'm not sure if the laws about HOAs vary much from state to state. 

Thank you both for the advice. I just got a hold of the bylaws and read through it. Leasing is allowed as long as the lease contract is approved by HOA and is no longer than a 6 month period of time. Something I wasn't expecting, but glad I found out before moving along.

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