The Impact of Short-Term Rentals on Community Dynamics

In a dynamic article featured in HOA Resources, Laura Otto delves into the far-reaching consequences of short-term rentals on residential communities. With the growing popularity of platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, communities are grappling with the challenges posed by transient occupants and the potential implications for community standards. Let’s explore the key findings and considerations presented in the article.

Maintaining Community Standards:

According to a survey conducted by the Foundation for Community Association Research, an alarming 62% of respondents expressed concerns about investors failing to uphold the established standards of the community when engaging in short-term rentals. This apprehension raises important questions about the impact such rentals can have on the overall well-being of the neighborhood.

The Importance of Rental Restrictions:

The survey further revealed that 64% of communities currently have strict prohibitions against short-term rentals, specifically those lasting less than 30 days. However, a surprising 20% of communities have yet to establish any rules or regulations governing rentals or leasing activities within their boundaries.

Addressing Concerns: What Boards and Homeowners Should Do

  1. Review Current Rental Restrictions:

It is essential for community boards to thoroughly examine their governing documents to assess the effectiveness of existing rental restrictions. By doing so, they can identify any gaps or areas in need of improvement.

  1. Seek Legal Guidance:

To navigate the complex landscape of rental regulations, it is advisable to consult with the association’s attorney. Legal experts can provide insights into current laws and help the association better prepare for potential changes in governing documents to address the challenges posed by short-term rentals.

Resales and Mortgage Accessibility:

Short-term rentals can significantly impact the resale value of properties within a community. Many prospective buyers seek “owner” lived-in communities, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a predominantly owner-occupied environment. Furthermore, homeowners may encounter difficulties securing federally backed mortgages if the community lacks regulations governing the percentage of rentals, thus potentially limiting their financing options.

Challenges with Rule Enforcement:

One widely recognized challenge associated with rental properties, whether short-term or long-term, is the increased likelihood of violations. Communities that harbor transient occupants often struggle with enforcing community rules, leading to potential disruptions and conflicts among residents.

Common Area Maintenance Costs:

Communities with a high concentration of rental properties often experience higher levels of damage to shared amenities and common areas. In contrast, communities with stricter rental controls tend to have fewer incidents of common area damage. This discrepancy can result in increased maintenance fees for all homeowners, reflecting the financial burden of repairing and maintaining shared facilities.


The impact of short-term rentals on communities is a multifaceted issue that demands careful consideration from homeowners, community associations, and local authorities. By reviewing rental restrictions, seeking legal guidance, and understanding the implications for resales and mortgage accessibility, communities can strive to strike a balance between the economic benefits of short-term rentals and the preservation of community standards. Additionally, proactive measures in enforcing rules and managing common area maintenance can contribute to harmonious living environments for all residents.