Rental Regulations Impose on Property Rights

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Editor:

Re: “Sharing Economy Strikes a Familiar Note

Why so angry? I’m also a working taxpaying resident, and I don’t see why we all can’t just get along? Demonizing all short term rentals (VRBO, Airbnb etc.) as nothing but loud, havoc wreaking party going parades of “transients” and all rental owners as greedy, absent and irresponsible, is flat out wrong and unjustified.

It’s inflammatory and not supported by substantial evidence.

Yes, there are occasional loud party goers, but that happens with both homeowners and long term rentals. Owners should have the right to use their property as they see fit, including rentals. I agree owners should be responsible and there should be consequences if rentals get out of line and cause neighborhood disturbances, just as with any other homeowner or hotel operator if their guests caused disturbances.

LBPD confirmed they don’t keep statistics on disturbances for “rentals” vs. “owners.” We residents all bear the “costs and impacts” of visitors, including the tens of thousands that stay at our local hotels and frequent our beaches, watering holes and restaurants.

Home-sharing sites offer tremendous benefits to our community. People travel from all over the world to Laguna.

I’ve made lasting friendships with a New Zealand family who vacations in Laguna three weeks each year. I know a neighboring Airbnb rental where half the guests (predominately young couples, families with small children or retirees) are foreigners, mostly European. They are overwhelmingly considerate, not party-goers and very respectful of their home accommodations and the neighbors. The hosts live “on-site” and are personal ambassadors and informal tour guides to Laguna. Off-street parking is provided and special attention ensures neighbors aren’t inconvenienced. The small rental income the working couple receives affords them just enough extra income to remain living in a town in which they love. Both hosts and guests are “reviewed” after each stay on most of these sites, so if either one is irresponsible, they are dinged and unlikely to become hosts or guests again. That’s a great check and balance that protects the community.

Don’t paint with such a broad stroke. Permit responsible property owners to rent responsibly. Regulate short term rentals if you must (although we are already over-regulated to death). Laguna is and always has been a tourist destination. It’s beautiful, and it’s good to share. Do it responsibly and everyone wins.

William Rousseau, Laguna Beach

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