Letter: Vacation rental debate really boils down to guests causing disturbances
To the editor,
Mr. Joannes is comparing a family coming to stay in a single family residence in his neighborhood with a brothel, gas station, adult bookstore, etc.?
No government entity should have the right to tell me what I can or cannot do on my property. That said, when we rent out our home, we do not allow parties or gatherings, no outside visitors staying in other vacation rentals or hotels, loud music or noise that can be heard outside our home, more vehicles then we can accommodate in our garage driveway, or guests to venture out into the neighborhood. We also perform background checks on our guests.
What this issue really boils down to, is the occasional property owner who allows his home to be used as a party house. Guests must acknowledge that they have read and agree to our house rules. We also do not allow guests under age 25 to rent our home. Very rarely, a guest may attempt to hold the gathering without the permission or knowledge of the property owner. But this is why our neighbors have our phone number so that they can contact us, and these guests will be asked to leave immediately. Also, exterior security cameras can be used to monitor undesired activity. Our usual guests who stay in our home and you will likely never even notice they are there.
Every neighborhood has a neighbor who may allow activity on his property by his family or his friends that someone does not like. Maybe this neighbor has lots of parties or loud music or friends coming and going twenty-four hours a day. But this neighbor unfortunately has the right to use his home as he sees fit. Unless this is Extreme activity it is likely you cannot call the police and expect any behavioral change by the people living there.
However, if the city passes a “party” law for vacation rental homes so that should guests in the home cause a disturbance that the police can be called and they can be ticketed or arrested as is appropriate, and the homeowner is contacted so that they can take action. I can tell you that if it were us, the guests would be evicted. That said, in 10 years of renting out my home, how many guests have I had to evict due to noise, loud music, partying, ect.? The answer is ZERO. This is because we are careful who we rent to. And this is the case for the vast majority of vacation rental homeowners.
And if the city wishes to collect lodging taxes, they may do so.
People just assume that vacation rental homes in their neighborhood will be a nightmare because the few who have had a bad experience with a non-caring neighbor are the people you hear from in hearings at City Council meetings, and letters like that from Mr. Joannes.
99-percent of the people who rent our home are families just like yours and mine, who otherwise would not be able to afford to visit our city at all and enjoy everything our city offers to its visitors. If they had no choice but to stay in a hotel, it is more likely than not that they will not be able to afford to visit our city at all. So this is not a loss in potential revenue to our city by not collecting “taxes” from their lost hotel stay. Can your family afford to purchase five hotel rooms so you can spend time together visiting a beautiful city like ours? I know we can’t. Maybe I’ll be able to afford to reunite my family for of visit if I apply to convert my home from a vacation rental into a “brothel.”