Short-term rentals of property, including, rentals for as short of time as on an hourly basis, are increasing in frequency around the country. The character of a community can be dramatically altered by such rentals and cause concerns for homeowners related to property values, security, and peace of mind.

Solar panels may be a source of controversy in residential neighborhoods. On one side of the debate are homeowners wishing to invest in renewable energy and take advantage of any available federal tax credits. On the other side are homeowners who purchased their homes in reliance upon the protection that a homeowner’s association (“HOA”) would offer by maintaining preferred aesthetics, abating nuisances, and preserving property value. As a result, HOAs need to know whether they are permitted to regulate the use of solar panels by their residents.

Municipalities adopt zoning ordinances in order to regulate the use of land within their boundaries and to provide for future growth without over-taxing their infrastructure and other resources. 

Short-term rentals have become a popular way for homeowners to earn extra income when they are away from their property. Websites like Airbnb and Vrbo have made short-term rentals easy and accessible. For homeowner associations (“HOAs”), management companies, and other community members; however, these short-term rentals present various problems.

Solar panels are increasing in popularity for both residential and commercial properties. Some property owners may consider installing solar panels to meet their own energy needs; others may consider installing them to generate income or to provide energy for public use. Given the high-value status of property assets, the long-term impact of solar panels is an important consideration.

Homeowner associations (HOAs) across the country should be aware of the bounds of their authority for regulating installation of solar panel systems on members’ homes. Mastering this delicate balance will help HOAs maintain both aesthetics and property value while, to some degree, honoring the individualized wishes of their residents.

A new Missouri law may be a new cause of concern for homeowners. The new law, which restricts the ability of local government to regulate home occupations with zoning ordinances or other regulations, may allow noxious businesses to become new neighbors. The law, created in response to people working from home during COVID-19, has likewise caused concern for municipalities across the state as they scramble to satisfy concerned homeowners. This law may go beyond its original intention of allowing work from home as became necessary during the pandemic, and it is especially troublesome for homeowners in dense housing urban areas who may be more likely to experience disturbances from home businesses.

Tis the season to be jolly! Homeowner Associations (HOA’s) usually have some control over regulating holiday decorations but the line between what homeowners consider gorgeous or garish can be as thin as twice-used wrapping paper. HOA’s are faced with a tricky question: how can decorative displays be regulated without taking the “festive" out of “festival?”

We are all familiar with commercials and ads warning real estate owners (“Owners”) of title theft. What is described as title theft occurs when a fraudster forges an Owner’s name on a deed transferring real estate to themselves, later mortgaging or selling it to acquire money.

In a Solar Panel Purchase Agreement (“PPA”), a developer (“Developer”) finances and installs solar panels on an owner’s (“Owner’s”) property and stipulates that the Owner use the electricity generated which is often cheaper than the rate charged by utility companies. PPAs often serve as opportunities for Owners to save money on energy.

Welcome to In the Dirt: Real Estate Legal Update where attorneys from Amundsen Davis blog about all things related to real estate, zoning, real estate management and finance. 



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