If there’s a topic that is guaranteed to make the blood boil, it is the issue of Condo Association short-term rentals. The battles over Airbnb, VRBO, and others have continued in community Associations throughout the year. Considered a nuisance by many Owners and a profit center for others, this topic has raged throughout the year. Here is a Condo Association short-term rentals roundup for the second half of 2017.
Denise Lash, Lash Condo Law, 11/28/17
As featured in the November 2017 news roundup. In a case in Michigan, a Condo Association attempted to end-around amending their Bylaws by seeking direct assistance from the court. Amendments to Bylaws are very difficult, so the Association sought a legal route to ban Condo Association short-term rentals instead. The effort failed, with the court ruling the Association would have to amend Bylaws for such a ban. This ruling is relevant as it shows that there will be no shortcuts for communities who want to ban Condo Association short-term rentals at the Bylaw level. They’ll need to convince their Owners it is a worthwhile endeavor.
News Related to Short-Term Rental Taxation
Michael Ott, BlogTO, 10/26/17
Some communities have decided that they’d rather profit off Airbnb and others rather than fight them to the death. Michigan, for example, has a formal taxation structure in place. To accelerate the legal use of Airbnb, Airbnb has a “Friendly Buildings Program.” Under this progres, apartments and condos share in the profits when their unit owners list their units on the service. Toronto, a city where Airbnb and Owners have had a rocky relationship, had their first signatory for the agreement in October. Is this a sign of collaborations to come in Canada, or an anomaly?
Articles Related to Governance
Mark Einhorn, Marcus Errico Emmer Brooks PC, 8/24/17
As featured in the August news roundup. This post covers the challenges that are faced in Massachusetts communities related to short-term rentals. Massachusetts is still in the earlier phases of sorting out their legal and tax structure related to short-term rentals. This article provides a great summary of what communities can do to ban or regulate this activity.
Hidetoshi Takada, Japan Times, 12/1/17
Across the Pacific, many Condos are banning short-term rentals in their community. Despite the high prices Tokyo rentals can command, communities do not want the noise, litter, or traffic that goes with short-term rentals. Japan has a regulatory and legal structure that only allows short-term rentals under certain circumstances. As with many jurisdictions, that has not stopped issues from arising.
Timur Loynab, Washington Post, 9/18/17
Washington, D.C., is yet another jurisdiction trying to figure out how they will regulate Airbnb and others. The District is looking to pass the Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017, which would provide a framework for regulation and taxation of short-term rental companies. The proposed bill would include the ability for hefty fines up to $7,000 for violators. The bill has not yet been passed, and remains a battle point for both Airbnb and Condos in the District.
2017 remains an extremely active year for the battles ongoing between short-term rentals and community Associations. While there has been major movement in some states, like Michigan and Florida, others remain unsettled on the matter. The biggest lesson from this edition of Condo Association Short-Term rentals roundup is to continue to expect uncertainty. In the meantime, your community should consider good policies so that you can lead a better Condo life when it comes to these rentals.