With investors knocking, Charlotte HOAs are starting to change their rules.

Lauren Lindstrom, The Charlotte Observer

Keri Miller loved the townhouse community she bought into in 2017. It was more affordable than homes in other parts of Charlotte, and has a mix of residents who have lived there since it was built two decades ago, as well as young families and people of all backgrounds.

But she began to take issue with the influx of corporate investors buying up townhouses, a common occurrence across the city.

The 36-year-old business consultant saw a remedy for her concerns through her community’s homeowners association, as she convinced her neighbors at the Avalon at Mallard Creek Townhomes to change its rules, with a goal to keep out corporate investors.

To do that, Miller, who is the HOA treasurer, rallied neighbors to change Avalon’s covenant to say owners must live in the home at least a year before renting it out, meant to restrict investment firms that wouldn’t leave a property empty that long. The HOA also put in a rental cap, so that only a little more than one-third of the 110 units can be rentals.

Hers is one of several communities in Derita, a neighborhood north of 1-85 near Sugar Creek Road, that have made similar moves or are considering changes to their covenants, which dictate requirements and limitations of what owner can do with a property within a specific community.

The issue highlights several of Charlotte’s housing struggles. There is a dire lack of affordable housing. Buyers contend with low inventory of homes for sale. Renters face steep increases. Owners worry about property rights, while there’s a constant march of hedge fund-backed investors buying in the city’s neighborhoods, with the aim to quickly flip properties and make money off rent checks.

Read more at The Charlotte Observer.

This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.

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