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Retirees Seeking Homes Need Help Navigating Areas With Short-Term Rental Bans

February 26, 2021

Retirees are finding neighborhoods that are free of short-term rental properties attractive as they seek quiet, peaceful areas where they can connect with their neighbors and avoid constant activity from renters. But the properties that retirees often find desirable in destination and resort areas can be prone to having short-term rentals next door.

“The vast majority of U.S. short-term rentals are in destination/resort and small town/rural locations around the country, of which many are the owner’s second homes,” Jamie Lane, vice president of research at AirDNA, an analyst firm for the short-term rental industry, told The Wall Street Journal. From the beginning of 2015 to the beginning of 2020, housing units rented on short-term sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo surged from 450,000 to 1 million, Lane notes.

Short-term rental properties are becoming more common as homeowners look to supplement their incomes. Some consumers preparing for retirement target properties where they can generate revenue from short-term rentals until they are ready to move into the house. But once they are ready to occupy the property full-time, they can discover that living close to other short-term rentals is not appealing, real estate professionals say.

Frequent parties, noise, and lines of parked cars are homeowners’ top complaints about living near short-term rentals.

In response, some resort communities are taking a stand and banning short-term rentals of less than six months.

Homeowner Wes Swenson told The Wall Street Journal that he was drawn to properties in Utah that offered gated communities with strong rules and enforcement when it comes to banning short-term rentals. “I have nothing against short-term renting in principle, but I don’t want to live somewhere that allows it,” Swenson told The Journal. “It makes life too unpredictable.”

Short-term rentals are governed by municipal ordinances that can mandate rental minimums or require that housing providers get a permit. Homeowners associations also may be able to prohibit them.

Home buyers can search Airbnb and Vrbo to see if there are any listings near a place they’re considering buying. The Wall Street Journal also recommends home shoppers call the city’s planning department to ask about local short-term rental laws or ask to read the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions document of any community to see if there is a policy banning or limiting short-term rentals.

Source: 
"For These Retirees, Short-Term Rental Bans Aren’t Just a Perk—They’re a Must,” The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 25, 2021) [Log-in required.]