Remember when you first moved in and loved your neighborhood?
Then the renters started moving in.
Now that the housing slump has put a damper on buying and selling many sub-divisions are becoming rental communities. The result, overgrown lawns, too many teens hanging out in the park and loud parties in the “frat houses” down the street; not to mention some driveways with a dozen cars parked out front and people streaming in and out. Does any of this sound familiar?
Thousands of property owners across the country are now renting out homes they cannot sell. As a result, developments that once were largely owner-occupied are filling up with renters who are less engaged in the community and less concerned about the upkeep.
But let’s be fair; not all homeowners are model neighbors and plenty of renters cut their grass, take in the garbage cans and turn down the music at 9 pm.
It’s a good news-bad news situation; renters can bring socio¬economic and racial diversity and a chance for owners to make money, even when times are tough. Some renters may start out as tenants but eventually will become buyers. Now for the flip side; too many renters can depress housing values in a community. You look at most renters as temporary with no long term vested interest in the community which will ultimately mean a swinging door – new faces in and out.
How to protect and preserve your neighborhood
• Many HOA’s require pre-approval by the board before allowing renters to move in. While this can cause problems it does provide another opinion about the people you’re about to allow into your space.
• While tempting, do not sign more than a one-year lease. If there are too many problems during that first year, you can simply choose not to rent to that individual again.
• Discuss, vote on and include language into your HOA bylaws that safeguard your community and keep your community stable.
Rules and guidelines pertaining to renters should be addressed at your annual HOA meeting. Be proactive not reactive. Often times, we wait until the “bleep” has hit the fan when we could have just addressed the situation before it became a problem.
Ask that homeowners update records if they move or rent; you need to know where notices should be sent.
Ask that homeowners provide a copy of any lease to the board so everyone knows how many people are moving into the community – this directly relates to the security of the community.
It all comes down to communication and setting up guidelines to live by.
About the Author: Millie Gil is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Vice President of Bold Real Estate Group. For more information please forward email to firstname.lastname@example.org