The Impact of Airbnb in Community Associations



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The rise of Airbnb has been credited with an increase in unwanted guests in HOA communities. Many condominium bylaws restrict or regulate the ability to lease a condominium unit. The Federal Housing Administration’s Condominium Project Approval and Processing Guide requires that at least fifty-one percent of units be owned by owner-occupants. However, the advent of technological platforms (such as Airbnb) have resulted in an increase in short-term occupancies typically associated with hotels as opposed to the landlord/tenant relationship.

Many associations are considering an amendment prohibiting “transient occupancy as defined in Florida Statute 83.43(10)” in addition to requiring no lease be entered into for a term of less than six months.

Airbnb disputes are not uncommon. Guests have been reported to have engaged in illicit drug use, loud parties and even having created a temporary brothel. In one well-known case, Airbnb guests caused between $50,000 and $70,000 worth of damage in a single weekend.

In addition, several municipalities prohibit the short-term rental of properties (e.g., under 30 days) unless the owner is also at the property. Legal action against Airbnb has been taken by the cities of San Francisco, Malibu, New York, New Orleans; and several other communities haverevised local statutes to regulate short-term rentals.

Airbnb also presents the following areas of concern for condominium and homeowner associations:

  • Airbnb guests are less familiar with association rules and regulations than an owner or long-term tenant, and, therefore, potentially more likely to unknowingly violate such rules and regulations.
  • Airbnb guests are less incentivized to take into account the impact of their conduct on neighbors.
  • Airbnb appears to be based, in part on a sense of community and good-will. Because of the short-term nature of their stay, however, Airbnb guests are potentially less incentivized to take into account the impact of their conduct on neighbors.
  • For FHA insured condominium mortgages, Airbnb rentals could increase the percentage of rentals above that permitted by FHA guidelines
  • For FHA insured condominium mortgages, Airbnb rentals may not comply with the FHA’s restriction on leasing (e.g., the FHA prohibits an initial lease term of less than 30 days).
  • Airbnb rentals could violate municipal codes and/or ordinances, or even state laws. The violations of such laws could lead to increased insurance premiums and potential liability for the association and other owners.

Homeowner associations must understand the potential impact of Airbnb rentals by its members on the association itself. Airbnb is proactive in removing listings that violate short-term occupancy restrictions, however it is important for each board to determine occupancy protocols before Airbnb guests show up.
The homeowners’ association attorneys at Stevens & Goldwyn, P.A. are experts in condominium law, contractual disputes, and HOA litigation. They specialize in representation for homeowners associations, assessment collection, foreclosures, civil litigation, and more. Stevens & Goldwyn, P.A. is located in Plantation, FL and provides services throughout Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Plantation, Pembroke Pines, Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Aventura, and more.
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