Keeping on the Right Side of Your Neighbours

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What do Sedona, Arizona; Maui; the Napa Valley in California, and Wasaga Beach, Ontario have in common?

These are just a few of the locations across north America that are cracking down on the growth in short term vacation rentals, by banning them altogether in some cases, and by introducing draconian licensing regulations in others.

With vacation rentals experiencing a boom in popularity – Homeaway now lists over 255,000 properties – this may be the leading edge of a movement restricting owners from taking advantage of this growth. A recent report from Venice, Florida highlights the challenge vacation home owners are now facing as their neighbours take their complaints to city officials, and the balance between residential harmony and transient tourism is fractured.

This trend is unlikely to affect the majority of owners in cottage country but it does highlight some of the issues that spawn complaints about rental properties. Here's a few I heard last year and are some of the more common arguments used against short term rentals.

  • Excessive noise
  • Straying and barking dogs
  • Renters ignoring property lines
  • Garbage disposal issues
  • General disrespect for neighbours

The responsibility of educating rental groups on cottage etiquette lies firmly with the owners or rental agencies, and it is up to them to make sure all their rental groups know how they should behave in cottage country.

This can be done simply by providing well written and concise pre-arrival instructions and a comprehensive cottage guide. Careful selection and screening of renters also goes a long way to maintaining harmony with your neighbours.

My next email newsletter will go into this in greater detail and offers some suggestions on how to educate your renters well before they arrive at your cottage. If you'd like to receive this, just sign up in the box in the side bar.