Many condo associations and HOAs restrict renting to some extent. Is it legal for a condo association or HOA to allow renting, yet impose some or all of these rules:

  1. The minimum amount of rent you can charge is X.
  2. Criminal background checks must be performed (and the record must be clean).
  3. The renter's monthly income must be at least Y times the monthly rent. (In my experience Y=3 is the norm.)
  4. Minimum credit score?

I'm fairly certain any single owner can implement these rules if they wish, but I'm asking if an HOA or condo association can force every owner to implement these rules.

If the answer is "Yes, they can", then:

  1. How would they enforce it? It seems like the HOA would have to be able to request to see the tenant's credit report, background check, proof of income, and rent checks to make sure the rules are being followed.
  2. What is to stop the HOA from making the requirements arbitrarily high to effectively prevent renting? (Minimum credit score set to 850, for example.)
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, they can.

  1. How would they enforce it? It seems like the HOA would have to be able to request to see the tenant's credit report, background check, proof of income, and rent checks to make sure the rules are being followed.

The HOA might have to make a rule giving it the right to audit members on pain of a fine or something.

  1. What is to stop the HOA from making the requirements arbitrarily high to effectively prevent renting? (Minimum credit score set to 850, for example.)

Nothing. It could ban renting entirely.

This comes with one important caveat. If the rental restrictions have the intent or effect of violating fair housing laws, the regulations may be void as contrary to public policy. In some cases, a total ban on renting would expose the HOA and its members to less risks than a rule that does this by implication or via selective enforcement of the rules. Basically, this means that regulations designed to bar renting based upon protected categories under the particular acts that apply (e.g. race, disability, sex, marital status, religion) would be invalid.

Also the HOA has to get its members to approve the rule and not repeal it. If the rule is so draconian that it reduces the fair market value of units, the members may decline to adopt such a rule or may get rid of it.

  • Yes; my experience in IL and TX is that a HOA can legally do about anything, – blacksmith37 Mar 18 at 1:12

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