Do vacation rentals hurt the neighborhood?
Despite the popularity of Airbnb, such short-term rentals are illegal in many cities. A new group has formed to advocate for the right to rent to vacationers.
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Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and FlipKey have created the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center. The center will advocate for laws and regulations that allow homeowners to rent out their homes, or rooms in their homes, to travelers short-term.
"As short-term rentals grow in popularity, some communities are asking questions about how to regulate the industry," Tim Doyle, a spokesman for the group, said in a news release announcing the new organization. "As leaders in the short-term rental marketplace, we want to make sure all stakeholders, but most importantly our customers, have a reliable source of information to contribute to this important discussion."
The group initially has chapters in several areas popular with travelers: Ashland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; Coachella Valley, Calif.; Marin County, Calif.; Maui, Hawaii; Miami; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; New York City; Santa Fe, N.M.; and San Francisco.
Property owners argue they should have the right to rent their homes for as little or as long as they want. But some neighbors object to short-term rentals, saying that visitors are disruptive and that using a house as a hotel is a business activity and should not be allowed in a residential area.
"Party houses" have been an issue in many tourist areas, including Miami Beach and Las Vegas.
The city of Las Vegas requires owners to get a license if they want to rent out their homes for less than 31 days and collects a tax on rental receipts. But surrounding Clark County does not allow short-term vacation rentals and is debating whether to change its law to allow short-term rentals.
"You may with good intentions be able to try to regulate it, but the devil is always in the details and who’s going to enforce it," County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said at a recent meeting, as reported by The Las Vegas Sun. "I was on the phone yesterday with a person who rented their home out short-term. It’s a frat house with constant parties, beer cans and everything else. The neighborhood has been completely frustrated for a year and a half now."
But others argued that the "party house" issue isn’t the same as allowing families to rent vacation homes in residential areas.
"There is a vast difference between the vacation rental business and the party home business," John Palmer, who runs a vacation rental company, told the commission. "The typical customers are families with children. They want the security and the privacy that’s afforded by vacation rental homes. They don’t want to share the swimming pool with hundreds of other people. They don’t want to drag their kids through smoky casinos filled with gamblers."
What do you think? Should people be allowed to rent out their homes for a night or a week in residential areas?
We lived in SWFL for many years it was a pretty stable area until 2008 when the real estate stumble occurred. Many of the homes in our neighborhood were foreclosed and several became vacation rentals. I've seen many unsavory characters in these homes, loud parties late at night and into the morning drunks who couldn't find their house, naked people lounging around the pool, you have no way of knowing what kind of pedophiles and child molesters are in da hood . The three Bedrom house across our back fence has had as many as twenty people staying there all very young, late teens and early 20s loud music Every pizza delivery person im the area knew the gate codes to enter our gated subdivision I was happy to have the opportunity to sell and move away, but many of our old friends and neighbors are still suffering with the insanity. The majority of the vacation renters were and are nice family people that anyone would like,,,,, but the few bad apples who party all night or may be child molesters that potentially rent these homes make it a scarey proposition for the folks who live in the area or next door.
We rented a mountain Cabin in Pigeon Forge Tn recently for a week.. We found a dozen or more condoms, some used and a sandwich bag half full of marijuana. I called the sheriff who came and took pictures.and confiscated the bag. The rental agency was upset that I called the sheriff instead of them, they said housekeepers would have cleaned up the place and taken care of the drugs, but the fact is the housekeepers had been there and overlooked the stuff.
Needless to say I wont rent from them again and I'm not sure they'd rent to me.
I asked for my $1200 dollars back and offered to find other accomidations they refused to refund my money so we stayed there. Although my wife insisted that the housekeepers return and cleaned the place again we still went to WalMart in town and bought a supply of Lysol spray and managed to survive the germs.
Short term rentals are potentially a monumental disaster. Most of us buy our homes based on what the neighborhood is like. If your neighbors change every week or two you can't possibly know who or what you need to guard against if you have children it's even scarier,,,,, simply because all you know about the people is that they had enough money to pay the rent the people next door could potentially be serial killers or child molesters. I'd rather be sure who lives next door than find out too late that my child had been abused by some short term renter.
We rent beautiful homes in beautiful neighborhoods. We take our friends, kids and grandkids. We are respectful of the neighborhood and the neighbors because we want the owners to not mind our returning. We the owners are more aware of who rents their propert, how they behave and determine that they will or will not rent to them again this would be helpful all around. I hope I can continue to rent homes like this as I don't believe I'll ever be able to afford a seven bedroom house on the beach in Florida or a five bedrom cabin in Tennesee.
There are already noise ordinances on the books. Therefore there is already a legal remedy for "party" houses. You would think that the homeowner would not want that type of rental anyway, because of the expense of clean up.
So, tax the proceeds and maybe fine owner for loud noise on property. Then the owner will write that into the lease and charge a deposit if he's smart, so it won't end up costing him anything, but at least the town can make some money for having the cops constantly going over to break up parties.
The fact that this is a question is insanity. It's your house. The idea that the government can tell you whether you can rent it out or not is ridiculous.
I live at the Jersey Shore where some communities allow short term rental and others do not. I will NEVER live year-round in a town that allows short term rentals. The majority of the towns that do allow it have nothing but problems from the Bennies who think nothing of trashing the place. They are loud, disrespectful and drunk. Typically they are not families with kids but 20 something college kids blowing off steam. Think MTV if you want an idea of what I'm talking about. When the week long rental is $5,000-$10,000 do you really think the homeowner gives a crap if he gets a $500 fine for violating a noise ordinance? There are some places that have good reason for not wanting to allow short-term rentals. Now if you went a bit further south in NJ the beaches there don't have the same party scene so, yeah, the rentals are more family oriented, because the vacationers are more families and less partiers. So maybe I wouldn't mind that so much. (Though it's still annoying getting around those towns during the season when the town triples in population. Seriously, having to contend with beach traffic to get to work is a pain in the tush, but that's the price we pay I guess)
when i lived in town, against my better judgement, there were some neigborhoods i wish the city had banned long-term rentals.
all night beer parties with guys p/ss/ng thru the fence at my dog, day time parties where they took leaks facing my wife and young children. the owners got tired of the complaints and sold the house to...guess who? some of the same people who had visited the previous tenants!
same wee-weers from before!
call the cops? they were already there visiting a couple of off-duty buddies!
No one wants their property damaged in any way. Most homeowners are doing
this to hold on to their property. In many cases, guests have been so attracted
to the neighborhood that they have bought a property themselves, helping everyone.
We need to be careful not to develop another element of rules which will end up
hurting us all. Simply showing respect for persons and property should be the goal.
You treat the problem (noisy frat parties, beer cans, etc) instead of making everyone who has a short tem rentalsuffer. What if the frat parties happened at a house that was being rented out long term? Would they just let it go then?
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.