Renters Blocked From Many Communities

Nationwide a new issue is facing those looking to find a nice residence at an affordable rent. Many neighborhoods aren’t welcoming renters in an effort to protect home values-the trend is affecting both renters and homeowners.

A growing number of homeowners are complaining that local laws and neighborhood association contracts are increasingly restrictive on renting in an economic environment that already complicates the prices of selling a home.

Renters are already feeling the pain in a number of ways. Apartment vacancies are currently at a 10-year low and the cost of renting has been steadily increasing since 2010 as more families opt to rent over purchasing a home. So, it seems the increase in restrictions comes at an especially difficult time for renters.

More and more potential home sellers are frustrated that their homes remain on the market while they’re being prohibited from renters. Meanwhile the costs of maintenance and mortgage property taxes remain. Fewer restrictions might make it easier to find a buyer.

Neighborhood association covenants cite examples of wherein homes are rented out and the new occupants are destructive and negligent, thus bringing down the values of not only the newly rented homes, but of the neighbors homes as well.

While this problem is certainly a very real concern, critics of restrictions say that they simply go too far. The other issue neighborhood associations should acknowledge- a homeowner prohibited from renting out their property may not have the income to keep up with the mortgage payments leading to foreclosure, which also drives down property values.

Still others claim that labeling all renters and negligent or unwilling to maintain their property is unfair. They lament that such a trend is growing in an economy that has left many people unable to purchase a home.

In some areas, inspections are being done prior to occupancy with periodic checks occurring thereafter for as long as the property is being rented. Other struggling municipalities are attempting to capitalize on the increase in renters by charging property managers for new permits and other fees.

Most covenants for newer neighborhoods within the past few years contain leasing restrictions. On the surface, neighborhood associations are simply trying to protect homeowners, but these contracts may actually do more harm than good in the current economic environment.

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