The current 2015 condo market in DC is up, and being driven by lifestyle choice and affordability. Buyers and renters on the market are embracing condominiums for their lower maintenance requirements and their accessible locations, which are within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, public transportation and the nightlife.
Having such a great condo market has led many condo owners to consider renting their condo out when they decide to move, instead of selling. Condo owners who are locked into great long-term rates with the prospect of appreciating values in the years to come, are considering the strong rental market as a great opportunity. However, when dealing with a condo and a condo-board, there are several unique aspects that should be considered beforehand.
Rent or Sell: What You Need to Know Before Renting Your Condo
1. Condo Bi-Laws
Regardless of whether you own or rent your condo, you are still bound to follow the condo laws. In order for owners to be able to buy and sell through FHA guidelines, many condos require an owner occupancy rate of 75%. If you’re building already has a 75% owner occupancy rate, you may not be able to rent your condo out. Many condo buildings also have requirements that stipulate maximum rental times, minimum lease lengths, as well as a ton of other regulations that could limit your ability to rent your condo. The condo bi-laws could even have a regulation that prohibits owners from renting out their condo at all.
When it comes to renting out your condo, there are some exceptions in the condo bi-laws and rental jurisdictions. For example, for those experiencing documented financial hardship, there may be an exception condo bi-laws that prohibit renting. There are also exceptions made for military personnel, other hardships and certain service responsibilities.
3. Rental Desirability & Condo Bi-Laws
Some condo bi-laws can limit how attractive a condo rental is to the potential renter. In addition to the condo bi-laws, condo rules and regulations may have an effect on a tenant’s ability to have pets, satellite dishes and other amenities. As a potential condo landlord, you must also make potential renters aware of these stipulations beforehand.
4. Condo Rental Manager
After having made the decision to rent-out your condo, the next decision that you must make is figuring out who should manage the condo in your absence. Often, a large building will have an in-house team on-site who offers owners a discount for management services. It is also important to remember that the condo building and board are present to represent the owners. However, there are some instances where there may be unique issues and an advocate is needed to represent your tenant and unit if there are differences with building management, which is where having an independent property manager can be beneficial.
Making the decision to sell or rent your condo should not be taken lightly. The best course is to ensure that you are aware of the stipulations that come with renting or selling a condo, and making the decision that best suits your needs.
About Amit Magdieli
Amit Magdieli is the founder of Magdieli Property Management LLC is a full service property and tenant care company operating for 15 years in Washington, DC. He is a licensed real estate agent, member of GCAAR, and member of Multiple Listing Service (MLS)