According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 37% of households in the United States are occupied by renters. That’s a significant percentage that most HOAs cannot afford to ignore. Unfortunately, those who rent homes versus buying them often get a bad rep. HOA Renters are sometimes stereotyped as dead-beats who don’t maintain the home or take care of the yard. Surrounding residents might see them as more transient, lacking the same level of attachment to the neighborhood as those who buy a home and intend to stick around.

While HOA renters may not stay as long or form the long-standing attachments that home owners do, that doesn’t mean they can’t make great neighbors. In fact, those who rent in your HOA can be just as big an asset to the community as those who own. Just like everyone else, they have made their home there for a reason, and they want to make friends and feel like members of the community. And as an HOA manager, one of your responsibilities is to make everyone feel welcome, regardless of their ownership status.

Give ‘Em What They Deserve

How can you help renters feel accepted and appreciated in your community? Generally speaking, you can start by treating them like everyone else. While renters don’t typically have a say in HOA policy, they do have opinions and feelings that you can take into account in day-to-day matters.

  • Make sure they’re well informed about the rules and regulations
  • Give them the most recent newsletter, utility information, and any necessary forms
  • Ensure they have pertinent information about HOA events and social activities
  • Help them access all the facilities and amenities to which they’re entitled
  • Make sure they’re part of the online social network, if you have one
  • Give them the appropriate contact information for the HOA

If you have a welcome kit for new owners, it would make sense to offer one to renters as well, even if it’s modified slightly. The best way to deliver a welcome kit is in person, so you can introduce yourself and offer your assistance. You might even consider forming a welcoming committee. Cliche as it may sound, this could provide a toasty warm welcome while taking the stress off you and your board members.

Any resident — owner or not — will be happier and more pleasant to have around if they’re made to feel welcome and involved. Let renters know they’re an asset to your community, and chances are that’s exactly what they’ll be.

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