Keeping on the Good Side of your Neighbors

There is a growing movement in many areas to cut down on the growth in short term vacation rentals, by banning them altogether in some cases, and by introducing draconian licensing regulations in others. Before you get serious about renting your property check the local by-laws to see how they may impact on your plans. It would be a tough call to find out you are not able to rent after spending money setting the property up for rental.

The issues that spark controversy and argument over short term rentals are ones that all responsible owners should be aware of and make efforts to control at the outset of a rental.  Where your property is in a vacation area and many properties are given over to short term rentals, this may not be as much of an issue but guest education is still the way to achieve harmony.  Here are the top complaints made by neighbors.

Excessive noise

People are on vacation and it’s understandable they will be excited, exuberant and often pretty noisy.  It is important to make guests aware of any local nighttime noise restrictions and to request that outdoor music is kept to a minimum.

Straying and barking dogs

Dogs in unfamiliar surroundings will mark their territory as well as checking out the new terrain.  Neighbors will lose patience quickly if visiting dogs leave their lasting mark that doesn’t get picked up, bark incessantly or go on digging expeditions.

Renters ignoring property lines

If guests don’t know where property lines are there’s potential they will use outdoor items that don’t belong to the property or park in ways that block neighbor access, among other activities that can irritate more permanent residents.

Garbage disposal issues

Where rental guests come from a city neighborhood with garbage collection services, they may be completely thrown by having to deal with their own refuse beyond putting it out on the curbside.  Neighbors will not be happy at guests leaving bags out for raccoons and bears to enjoy.

General disrespect for neighbors

Permanent residents often want to keep to themselves and are not always open to overtures of friendship from their transient neighbors.  Disrespect can take many forms and it could be as simple as children’s ball games getting out of hand, or a campfire being lit inappropriately.

There are many thousands of families who rent for the first time each year as vacation rental grows in popularity, and the responsibility of educating rental groups on etiquette lies firmly with owners. Where families have only experienced resorts, hotels and shared amenities, they often don’t appreciate the differences offered in our type of accommodation.

Educating them can be done simply by providing well written and concise pre-arrival instructions and a comprehensive property guide. Tell them about noise restrictions, how to dispose of garbage, and your pet policies. Make it friendly but firm so your guests are made aware of the importance of good neighbor relations.  Careful selection and screening of renters also goes a long way to maintaining harmony with the local residents.

Talk to your neighbors about your rental plans and reassure them you are taking a responsible approach.  They will respect you for it.