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Neighborhood dispute over short-term rentals continues

A California community has been in a long-standing dispute over banning short-term rentals. The neighborhood, Oxnard Shores, has become a popular place for short-term renters due to its prime location near the waterfront.

In June 2016, the local homeowners' association passed a policy that required prospective tenants to rent the property for a minimum of 30 days. The dispute was taken to court, where a judge ruled against a family of rental owners, denying them their request for an injunction. Two days later, eight candidates who were against the policy were elected to the HOA board.

The California Coastal Commission has not supported these bans in the past as they would restrict beach access. However, regulations that limit the number of rentals in a specific area have historically passed muster. One HOA board member stated that the HOA has spent approximately $100,000 fighting the short-term rental owners, which is a large sum for the community. Another HOA board member stated that she would support banning the short-term renters if the community wants it. However, she said that the dispute has been handled badly as previous members made decisions without consulting the community.

When a community cannot agree on policies, both the homeowners and the HOA may be looking at an expensive dispute. An attorney may assist in HOA disputes by representing a property owner, especially if the policy the HOA board is intending to put into place is against city ordinances. If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiations, the attorney may represent the homeowner when the case goes before a judge.

Source: VC Star, "New changes, same division for Oxnard Shores community", Wendy Leung, Jan. 13, 2017

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