Renters Not Welcome?

I had the pleasure of working in the field of property management a few years back, and even then it appeared that some neighborhood HOA’s were not fond of renters.  Florida Realtors(R) just posted an article confirming it.

Some HOAs feel property values suffer in a neighborhood with too many rentals.  So what a number of HOAs have done is create stricter covenants and restrictions, institute stricter enforcements (sometimes seemingly targeted directly at the rental properties), and/or put restrictions on the number of properties that can be rented within a neighborhood.  Is it fair?  No.  Do I understand the reasoning behind it? Yes, but I certainly don’t agree with it.  Here’s why.

A number of home owners have become accidental landlords – they can’t get the price they want or need to sell so do the next best thing by covering or supplementing the expense by becoming a landlord.   The accidental landlord is just holding the house until there is enough recovery in the market to sell.

If these accidental landlords are unable to find tenants because the HOA has especially restrictive rules or decides to disallow the house to remain a rental, then a number of landlords are going to be put in the position of not being able to pay their mortgages at some point, and may end up abandoning their properties.  I am in the Orlando area, and I drive by and show a number of vacant homes daily.  The last thing any neighborhood needs now is another vacant home that is obviously suffering from disrepair and neglect.

HOAs may want to rethink their stance on this.  An occupied home, whether tenant or owner, is a good home to have, and the impact a tenant may have on the value of a neighborhood is nothing compared to the impact of a long-standing vacant home.

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