If you would like to rent out your condominium unit on short-term vacation rental websites like Airbnb or Craigslist – be careful! Property owners often do not consider the rules and regulations of their Homeowners Association (“HOA”) before doing so. As one San Diego man found out, the penalties for violating a HOA’s rules and regulations can be costly.
Thomas Stevens, a San Diego resident, rented out his condominium in the Mark condominium project located just north of Petco Park in Downtown San Diego. Although the frequency of the rental is debated by Mr. Stevens and The Mark Condominium Association (Mr. Stevens claims that this only occurred one time), a San Diego judge ruled that the rental violated the HOA’s rules and regulations. As a result of a Superior Court judge’s ruling, Mr. Stevens was order to pay to The Mark Condominium Association $16,059 in costs plus $90,000 in attorneys fees.
Some may say this result seems excessive or unjust; however, it should serve as an important reminder that the rules and regulations of the HOA must not be violated. It is also important to note that municipalities, including San Francisco and New York City, also regulate short-term rentals and may impose additional restrictions. With that said, this subject is constantly evolving and property owners must be careful to not run afoul with the laws of their local jurisdiction and the rules and regulations of their HOA.
If you do not understand your HOA’s governing documents or have questions how the rules and regulations apply to your personal activities, contact the experienced homeowners association (HOA) attorneys at The Loftin Firm.