Raleigh HOA decides not to enforce rental restriction that would boot 200 families

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some renters in a Raleigh neighborhood are breathing a sigh of relief upon learning they will not be forced to move -- at least right now.

The Renaissance Park Homeowners Association said in an email to residents that, in an effort to compromise with renters, it has decided not to enforce a rule in the covenant that prohibits a homeowner from renting the home if it's not their primary residence.

Last month, the board of directors that was elected to take over the HOA from the community's original developer, Wakefield Development, said it was taking seriously its legal responsibility to enforce the covenants that went mostly ignored from the beginning.

At the time, Ron Boyd, HOA president, said they by early 2021, about 20-percent of Renaissance Park was made of renters -- or nearly 200 families.

"This was never meant to be to pick out the renters and say we're going to go after you," he said. "All we wanted to do from the beginning is enforce the covenants. We went to great extent to let the neighborhood know that."

Now the HOA is saying that properties that have rental agreements already in place will be "grandfathered in."

New rentals will be prohibited after the first of the year.

Brandy Ellis-Kromah, who moved into Renaissance Park in 2015, first rented her home from the builder and now from a holding company.

"We've built our life here," she said when ABC11 spoke to her in October. "This is our home."

She and her husband have watched the neighborhood grow around them as they've raised their family in a house they maintain and have even upgraded through the years.

Boyd had suggested that renters who want to stay should buy the home from their landlord. Ellis-Kromah said that's not feasible for her family.

"To ask us to simply buy a home in order to stay in our neighborhood -- it may seem like an easy ask, but it's not," she said. "It's not just going to put us in a bidding war, it's also potentially going to immediately oust us."

Beverly Welsh, another resident, benefitted from renting in the community before she bought.

On Tuesday, she said she was in favor of the modification, giving more flexibility to the people currently renting.

"To just come out with a real hard line, I think that was hard for people," she said.
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