The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting the Second District Court of Appeals in Ventura has upheld the authority of homeowners associations to charge additional HOA fees to owners who rent out their condominium units to short-term occupants.

“An association is entitled to impose reasonable fees to cover the extra costs of vacationers and other short-term renters, who usually use recreation areas and other facilities more than other residents and are less careful … because they are not concerned with the long-term consequences of abuse,” the Second District Court of Appeal in Ventura said. 

The case doesn’t directly affect the Airbnb controversy over sub-rentals of urban housing units and their impact on housing supply and costs.

The court ruled in favor of Oak Shores, alongside Lake Nacimiento in San Luis Obispo County.

The HOA claimed (based on the own study) “short term rental units incur nearly $900 a year more in costs than those occupied by owners or long term renters”. 

The association charges owners $325 a year to rent their property and imposes other fees on short-term renters and guests, including a garbage-collection fee and charges of $25 a day or $125 a week for bringing watercraft to the lake. 

The fees were challenged by three owners who said they violated a state law limiting homeowners’ association fees to “the amount necessary to defray the costs”.

In upholding the ruling, the appeals court said “California law requires courts to give homeowners associations some leeway in decisions on property cost-sharing”. 

The association’s lawyer, Roy Weatherup, said the ruling clarified an unsettled area of the law and vindicated his client.

 


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