The Housing Chronicles Blog: Rising tension over homes rented out

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rising tension over homes rented out

Think you'll have no problem renting out a house until the market rebounds? It's a great idea if you can cover (all or most) or your costs, but in many areas of the country, there's a growing backlash from HOAs and some cities in response to complaints that many tenants are ruining the neighborhood. From a story in SmartMoney magazine (hat tip: Brian McDonald):

Renters: neighborhood contagion, or a lifeline to beleaguered homeowners? In growing numbers of American towns and subdivisions, that question has become anything but academic, as homeowners associations abruptly ban rentals. Blame it on the huge slump in the housing market. For owners who have to move or who own houses as investment properties, short-term rentals can bring in some cash and keep them from having to sell at a big loss.

But instead of greeting renters with hosannas, many towns and subdivisions are barring their doors, arguing that tenants usher in neglect, misbehavior and even violent crime. Almost 60 million Americans live in developments governed by homeowners associations, and by some estimates as many as 40 percent of those communities enforce restrictions that keep owners from becoming landlords.

Indeed, many associations are enacting even tighter anti-renter rules — even in the parts of the country hit hardest by falling prices. Often the backlash comes after the rowdy-tenant threat becomes a reality...

The conflicts help explain one of the more bitter ironies of the real estate scene. Even though demand for rentals is at an all-time high, there are now 18 million vacant housing units in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. More than a third of those properties are being left vacant by their owners intentionally, a trend that’s being exacerbated by local renting rules. To be sure, some communities are easing restrictions in a bid to lure buyers. But other subdivisions are digging in their heels even as homeowners beg for relief...

Click here for full story.

1 comment:

big said...

nice article. thank's