Letter to the editor: Make property managers, not homeowners, culpable for rental issues
Breckenridge wrestles with the problem of labor shortages by trying to restrict supplies of rentals in private neighborhoods.
After 12 years as a part-time resident, we sold our home. We aren’t skiers. We love the mountains in spring, summer and fall, and we spent several months a year in our home. During the winter, it made sense to allow other extended families who love winter sports to use our large home.
Long-term rentals don’t make sense for homeowners who want to be in the mountains part or most of every year. It seems to me that hosting occupants in otherwise empty homes creates safer neighborhoods and enhances earnings for restaurants, the grocery store, gas stations, the ski hills and other entertainment venues.
Despite what I read about the town’s talking points, the interests of homeowners with short-term renters are identical to those of local full-time neighbors. Property management companies outline promises in contracts with homeowners that specify rules on occupancy, noise, trash, etc. That said, fear of poor user reviews on travel websites make property managers unable or unwilling to enforce stated policies. Perhaps Breckenridge might consider significant fines on management companies that fail to enforce stated policies when neighbor complaints result in a law enforcement visit to the property.
A system of allocating short-term rental licenses appears to benefit the hotel and lodging companies by forestalling competition. If the town persists in traveling further down this road, then licenses should be allocated in a way to encourage accountable property management by limiting the number of homes managed by a single property manager. Ultimately, the cost for those licenses restricted by ordinance will rise, allowing the city to generate additional income.
If the problem really derives from neighborhood disruption, then make the property managers — not the homeowners — culpable.
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