At issue again: Control of short term rentals taken away from local government?

COMMENTARY

Meet your new neighbor?

MILT THOMAS

The issue of short term/vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods has again raised its ugly head. For those who were not here at the time, residents have always been concerned about the negative effect of short term (a week to a month) rentals on established neighborhoods because these renters tend to disrupt the “quiet enjoyment” of the permanent residents around them by throwing parties, littering, creating traffic and parking problems, and other disruptive activities. Furthermore, if more than one house in a neighborhood becomes a vacation rental, it could have a negative effect on property values and the sanctity of the neighborhood itself.

The City of Vero Beach has long enforced a ban on these rentals within city limits. The county also once banned them but decided against the ban on the basis of individual property rights. The reaction from county residents forced the County to reconsider and in 2016, the County Commission again placed restrictions on short term rentals. Read this.

But now the Florida Legislature is seriously considering removing the issue of short term rentals from local control and applying a “one size fits all” approach that would be a gold mine opportunity for state and national rental companies like Airbnb. Read this story from Florida Today.

The basic issue is whether property owners have the right to make income from their residential homes or do their property owning neighbors have the right to quiet enjoyment of their homes. Now the state is  weighing the rights of residential property owners versus the free enterprise rights of vacation rentals companies.

Let your feelings be known to your elected officials.

5 comments

  1. I understand someone coming for a pleasant visit to my neighborhood but if they don’t respect those of us who are long-term folks, it might not work. I am more than willing to welcome them but also willing to call police if they are partying after 11pm, have a yard-full of cars and are not careful about their garbage. I’m also willing to contact an attorney to notify the property owner I am thinking seriously about a lawsuit. This would be the last resort.

  2. I would not oppose to short term rentals. Short term renters should not be judged before coming into a community. They should be obligated to follow community rules, have it written in their lease if they don’t, they will face strict consequences. I would welcome short term renters, as they should be able to enjoy our area. It would be great for tourism as well. I’d also like to add there are many, long term residents who are noisy, inconsiderate, play loud music, let their pets run wild, don’t follow the community rules, and get away with it, while making it impossible for their long term, paying neighbors to enjoy the quiet privacy of their homes. I would know, I am one of them. I believe short term renters could very possibly improve the atmosphere of the neighborhoods they are renting in. We will never know if they are not given a chance.

  3. I would welcome short term renters. They should not be judged just because they are not permanent residents. They should be held to the same community rules and laws as the full time residents are, with strict consequences if they do not. This would also be great for the County tourism. I’d also like to add that there are many full time residents who are noisy, play loud music, let their pets run wild, or dogs bark all day, park their cars in the street, put out their trash cans on neighbors lawns, they are inconsiderate, do not follow the neighborhood rules, and have no consequences. They make it impossible for their neighbors to enjoy the comfort, and privacy of their own homes year round, I should know, I am one of them. Whether a short term renter or full time owner, you will always have inconsiderate neighbors.

  4. I have participated in a VRBO program when in Fort Lauderdale that had rules, regulations, heavy deposit, & additional fees & fines if violations were applicable. It is important how it is structured. There are sample contracts they give.

    In the 3 years I was very happy with the quality of guests. They were primarily families that needed to not be in 2 or 3 different hotel rooms because of their children or aging parents. I did one time have the cast of the performance “Wicked” stay, but they were always gone rehearsing or performing. The guests that usually can afford to & abide by these deposits & policies aren’t ones that would be a nuisance, plus guidelines & penalties are made aware in advance.

    I also have utilized the same program when traveling overseas with my daughter to New Zealand & family to Europe & South/Central America. The hosts are rated based on their reputation as well. Always immaculate & beautiful stays.

    The government has somewhat of an interest as it does impact property owners rights with their options for utilization of their property & investment. Life sometimes changes on a dime, owners should have options say if they marry, their estate, lost their income, or hospitalized, or really any options. The state also has a vested interest in the 11%(+/-) transitory tax that is revenue generated for the State of Florida & I’m sure makes an impact for them.

    This doesn’t need to be a bad experience. In fact it is good for how we share our beautiful areas of which we live. I didn’t move to New Zealand, but am very grateful I had the opportunity for my daughter & I to have private rooms while in the comfort of a homelike setting to prepare our meals, etc. right on one of the most beautiful beaches. We can create lifetime experiences for families vs. what is being feared & restricted. The rights of property owners should be considered for the varying needs.

    Not all residents will want to participate, some that only get to use their home twice a year for a week or so, may welcome the opportunity, in the interim until a more permanent move…or where they may be torn to have to sell instead….or they may not want to participate.

    Options I have experienced are nothing but positive on both ends as a guest/tenant & an owner/host in 3 years I never had to keep anyone’s deposit. As long as they left it clean “as upon arrival” they never had to even incur a cleaning fee.

    Who are the officials to write that are the decision makers for this matter? Please post or email a list.

    Thank you for publishing this issue.

  5. I fully agree also with lenore514, that on rare occasions permanent owners, or long term residents can sometimes be less considerate…or even more disrespectful.

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