You’re already a Midtown condo owner. You just met the guy (or girl) of your dreams and they want a house in the new real estate hot spot of Chamblee. But you want to keep the condo.
How Can I Lease My Midtown Atlanta Condo?
All of the above are scenarios I encounter on a weekly or monthly basis. Another is that dreaded, ” I got a job in _______ (Fill in the blank) but I want to come back to Atlanta and I still want my condo here. Unfortunately, you may have a problem with what to DO with your condo….be it in Midtown or anywhere in Atlanta.
And this is nothing new, just because of the hot real estate market and limited inventory! I wrote about this very subject in 2012!
You can’t just up and decide to lease your condo. All condominium buildings (well actually the Homeowner’s Association a.k.a. the HOA) have requirements as to the number of condos that can be rented at any given time. And that number in most buildings is around 25%. But why? It’s MY condo! I’ll do what I want with it!
NOT SO FAST!
When you purchased that condo, you agreed to abide by a set of rules and regulations, also called the Declaration of Condominium. They can also be called the CC & R’s ( Covenants, Conditions and Regulations). When you move into a condo building, you agree to these rules, and there will always be a provision regarding leasing your condo. And in that provision, you must have a leasing permit, issued by the HOA, to lease your condominium.
And in most communities, certainly Midtown Atlanta, there is a waiting list to get such a permit. A long, long list.
Why Do I Have to Have a Leasing Permit?
One primary reason is because of financing. Most lenders require a certain number of the homes in any community be owner-occupied. To get financing for a buyer, the lender will ask for a condo questionnaire to be completed, and the HOA must disclose how many homes are currently leased. If there is too high of a percentage, the lender may feel that a loan in that building is not a sound investment. There is also the un-founded truth that renters are less desirable neighbors, and don’t take care of a home like a homeowner would. (Not true..I’ve seen some pretty scary condos that were owner occupied…and I’ve seen many a owner bang into a wall, or scuff the paint with a suitcase of moving cart!)
Some HOA’s will allow a hardship leasing permit. Like the job example above? Let’s say you DO have to move out-of-state for a job, but want to move back as soon as you find a new job here in Atlanta! These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis, and differently from building to building.
I’ll Just Rent It “Under The Table” They Will Never Know
Ah, that would be a big….NO!
Have the HOA (remember that neighbor you never met…but now knows someone ELSE is living in your condo) find out you are renting and your tenant could face eviction. You will most certainly get a fine…as little as $25 per day to as much as $500 per day. The HOA can turn off access to common areas like the garage where you park, the club room and any other amenities. It can get pretty messy. Probably NOT worth the risk.
So if you are looking to buy a Midtown Atlanta condo, or a condo anywhere in the Atlanta area, make sure you place your name on the lease waiting list as soon as you close. Some HOA’s have a grace period of 90-120 days before you can, but get it on there when you can. It may take 4-5 years to clear the list, but when you do, it may be perfect timing to THEN turn it into an investment property and rent it! (And I can help you with that process!)
Or you may have no choice but to sell. I can help you through that process as well. Here are some tips about selling your Midtown Atlanta condo!
Just know that you need to be living in that condo, and don’t think you will be renting it out!