Letter to the Editor: Exposing the truth about complaints at short-term rentals

Julia Koster

We’ve heard a great deal about complaint data from Summit County leadership during the public process to draft a new short-term rental ordinance, so I thought it might be valuable to expose the truth behind the numbers.

First, these complaints come from neighbors of short-term rentals regarding issues like noise, parking and trash. And we’ve heard that “more than 90% of complaints come from the neighborhood zone.”

Ninety percent sounds like a lot. And that’s precisely how they want it to sound.

When you look closer at the actual number of complaints as made public on the county’s website, you’ll find that this is 90% of less than 180 total complaints for the entire year of 2022. 

Less than 180 total complaints. 

For the entire year of 2022.

This translates to less than 0.1% of all reservation nights on the books resulting in a complaint phone call.

Our county’s professional property managers are doing a great job managing issues, with multiple pre-arrival emails to set expectations, a detailed check-in process, in-home signage and literature highlighting “the rules,” and follow up messages during the guest’s stay to make sure everything is going okay. The Summit Alliance of Vacation Rental Managers is building a Good Neighbor Certification program to prove homeowners know what it takes to behave, and they are committed to having guests abide by local rules.

All of this is overkill if you ask me, but these are the steps being taken by locally owned and operated management companies to deal with a very small problem completely blown out of proportion.

These policies and complaint hotlines are not established based on an overwhelming need. The classification of short-term rentals as a nuisance is propaganda spoon fed to our community based on NIMBY-ism and skewed data, not fact.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.