As we celebrate U.S. independence today, I would like to give a quick thanks for the property rights most of us enjoy -property rights which allow the vacation rental industry to exist.
Yet, we should also be reminded that these property rights are being challenged at the city, county and state level across the country. One of the fundamental rights of owning property is the ability to use it as a resource, which would include the ability to rent the home, in whole or in part…short term or long term, to provide income to the property owner.
Opponents of short-term rentals and vacation rentals are typically not trying to abolish property rights altogether. These critics are not usually socialists who want the government to dictate what can and cannot be done in the home. Rental opponents are simply annoyed by noise, limited parking, excess garbage, and the discomfort of not knowing who is coming and going from the property on their street or in their building. What rental opponents don’t consider is that sacrificing property rights as a whole is a large price to pay because a few people are annoyed.
As we have seen in Portland this week, there is much education which needs to be provided to the government officials who are trying to sort out these issues to protect property rights while also providing safety and comfort for their constituents.
Many traditional vacation rental destinations do not currently struggle with a threat to property rights. Alabama and North Carolina, for example, with the help of very active vacation rental management companies, Chambers of Commerce, and Convention and Visitors Bureaus work hand in hand with cities, counties and the state to keep everyone informed of the positive economic impact and work together to confront existing and potential issues.
Active…hand-in hand…together. This is how vacation rental rights are protected.
These rights are currently being challenged at the city and state level and have not yet escalated to the federal level. Each municipal fight is a ground battle in a ground war against the fair use of residential property.
The entire vacation rental industry is dependent on the right of a homeowner to rent his/her property on a short term basis, and all of us who work in the industry can participate in a meaningful way to preserve it.
By Amy Hinote