HOA Yard Sales: Community Builders or Killers?

April 13, 2013
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In this week's tip, we tackle the tough question of whether yard sales are good or bad for HOAs.

Generally, most of our experts agree there are pros and cons to yard sales depending on owners' expectations.

"Are yard sales good for HOAs?" asks Steven Parker, president of RMI Management in Las Vegas, which manages hundreds of community associations. "That depends on the HOA and the type of community. In gated communities with multimillion dollar homes, most owners won't want yard sales. On the other hand, we represent a community in the middle price range, and every year it has an annual garage sale. Everybody who likes garage sales thinks it's the best thing in the world because on just one street, you can hit 10 sales."

Because each community is different, our experts encourage boards to consider rules governing yard sales, if that's possible. "In Nevada, an HOA really couldn't put restrictions on yard sales unless its bylaws specifically stated that no yard sales were permitted," says Parker. "What can happen and is usually beneficial is that if owners are permitted to have yard sales, boards make the date for them community wide, saying, 'On this date, owners may have yard sales.'"

That's one of several rules Nathaniel Abbate Jr., a partner at Makower Abbate & Associates PLLC in Farmington Hills, Mich., who represents associations, agrees is wise for boards to put in place. "Extra traffic and the possibility of criminals casing the property may well be drawbacks to yard sales," he says. "But the association needs to consider the wisdom of setting aside one or two weekends a year in which such sales will be permitted. In some parts of the country, yard sales are a part of the fabric of a community, and they foster some positive benefits, which include creating a sense of community as well as providing an opportunity to showcase a neighborhood.

However, if your HOA permits yards sales, you should consider placing restrictions on them. And you should find out why one of our experts absolutely, positively advises clients against permitting yard sales. Learn more in our new article, Pros and Cons of Banning Yard Sales in Your Homeowners Association.

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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