The New Property Rental Craze

A few days ago I was talking with my neighbor who told me he was thinking about leasing his property for a year. In his case it wasn’t his entire property but only his garage that he planned to lease. Since he didn’t need his garage or at least the vast majority of it, he thought why not lease it and make some money. After thinking about his idea for a minute, I said to him I can see the upside to leasing your garage. Then I asked him if he thought about all the possible problems with his idea and if he knew of any regulations that may not allow leasing of a garage. 

The obvious problems that could and probably would easily come about are things such as loss of privacy, noise, issues with other neighbors who did not appreciate additional vehicle or foot traffic and damage to his property just to name a few. Beyond these issues I wondered if the Vistoso Community Association (VCA) had any rules that may not allow this kind of rental.

Well, my curiosity got the best of me so I looked into it. I don’t really like getting into the legalese and quoting chapter and verse but wanted to make sure you didn’t think I was making up my own rules. In any case, I found the following information in our Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Easements (CC&Rs) document:

Article V, Section 5.2.1(c), Page 29

(c) Use: Leasing. No gainful occupation, profession, trade or other nonresidential use shall be conducted on or in any Lot. The entire (but not less than all of a) dwelling unit on (or constituting) a Lot may be leased to a Single Family Tenant from time to time by the Owner, subject to the provisions of this Declaration, any applicable Recorded Subsidiary Declaration or Recorded Tract Declaration and the Association Rules.

The bottom line is that while making a little extra money by leasing a garage may seem like a good idea at first, there are several drawbacks including a violation of our CC&Rs that would negate the lease of a garage and probably would result in a substantial fine. In addition, if your renter were injured in your garage or if a fire or other incident occurred that damaged or destroyed items stored in your garage, you could have significant liability exposure. When weighing the pros and cons of leasing a garage, I’d have to say the cons well outweigh the pros. So my advice is to find another way to generate income that doesn’t come with these issues.