From Palm Springs to Nashville, the debate over the legality and permissibility of short-term rentals is heating up.
Some local governments are looking to bring regulations to the industry, while others seek to ban short-term rentals entirely. A lot of grievances over STRs come from misunderstandings and misinformation, which is something homeowners can work to address.
Whether or not your city council is looking to legislate STRs, becoming an advocate for STRs in your community can help shape public perception of rentals and show skeptics that STR owners do care about the communities where their rental homes are located.
Leslie Eggleston, TurnKey’s General Manager in Nashville, is very active in the STR advocacy community in Nashville and recommends homeowners do these 4 things:
“Whenever I talk to new TurnKey homeowners, I encourage them to join our local association because there’s power in numbers,” Leslie says.
You’ll have the opportunity to get to know other STR owners in your community, share information, and strategize together.
One of the best ways to fight back against any legislative decisions that can affect your ability to legally operate a vacation rental in your city is to stay informed and a step ahead of your local governing bodies.
Stay up to date with what’s on your city council’s agenda and what people are saying about STRs in your area. Keep an eye on your city council’s website, and set up Google alerts for short-term rental news in your community.
A common criticism of the short-term rental practice is that homeowners and travelers aren’t invested in the area they’re owning property in and visiting.
Change this perception.
Once you’ve connected with local advocates in your community, you can plan community events to show other locals how much the area means to you.
“Be good neighbors – show you own the home in the neighborhood, and be proactive,” Leslie says.
For example – if you live in a beach community, plan a beach clean-up day. Invite other homeowners to participate and the local press to cover it.
Owning a vacation rental isn’t just about making money – as a homeowner, you have a story to tell.
“Share stories of how owning a vacation rental has impacted you. Don’t come off as an investor,” Leslie says.
Your “why” behind being a vacation rental homeowner can have a great impact on local legislators and your community.
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, testify at council hearings, call and write your local representatives, and hold events to educate your community on what it means to be a vacation rental homeowner.
Leslie says one of TurnKey’s Nashville homeowners who is currently living in California flies out to Nashville whenever there is a STR hearing.
“She’s even gotten a hotel room because her home had been booked,” Leslie added.
Becoming an advocate in your community will not only help you protect your rental, but will help you build fulfilling relationships and partnerships with homeowners and legislators in your community.
Let TurnKey advocate on your behalf – learn more about partnering with us here.