Vacation rental ban: Will it work?

Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to vote to introduce an ordinance that would ban vacation rentals in Evanston.
The action comes after residents of two different blocks -- one in south Evanston, the other in northeast Evanston -- complained about noise from a neighbor's vacation rental.
City Attorney Grant Farrar, who drafted the ordinance, says similar bans have been adopted by New York City and two small California towns -- Pismo Beach and Seal Beach.
To check how effective the bans have been, we took a look at AirBnB.com, a popular site matching would-be vacation renters with property owners.
We turned up nearly 20,000 listings for New York City vacation rentals, four in Pismo Beach, population 7,655, and five in Seal Beach, population 24,168.
That compares to about 18 listed for Evanston, for our population of just under 75,000.
The proposed ordinance carries a fine of $100 for a first offense, rising to $500 for third and subsequent violations.

Top: A home at 2515 Ashland that has drawn complaints from neighbors. Above: A home at 1525 Dobson that also drew complaints.
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Neighbors howl about vacation rental on Ashland
Short-term rentals: Threat or opportunity?

Comments

There are better ways.

I am an Evanston resident and have worked in the vacation rental industry for almost 10 years. Besides being wrong to tell people what they can do with their own home, this ordinance is short sighted. Vacation rentals cater to families who enjoy having the added value of shared living space, kitchens and the feeling of "getting to know" a destination. Evanston has a lot to offer as a vacation location with the univesity, the lake, shopping, dining, the arts and a safe, family-friendly environment. Simple regulations that include screeening, lodging tax and professional management could easily be a win-win for the growth of the town and the residents who already live here. Simply banning rentals all together is a small minded way to approach this.

Vacation Rentals

Seriously! Another example of bullying Rainey and crew manipulating facts to suit their agenda of control and dictatorship. Let taxpayers do what they want with their own properties. Ugh!!! Yet another, unnecessary abuse of power to regulate taxpaying citizens. I have a suggestion, why not "ask" owners to stipulate no loud noise that disrupts neighbors on the block, to their renters? And whining neighbors tell the owner instead of whining to the money leeching alderpersons. Oh! Silly me! This is also a way for the City of Evanston to get more money from their taxpaying citizens.

More than a ban on "vacation" rentals.

This ordinance far exceeds any ban on what someone would consider a vacation rental. There is no distinction made among those that rent out their home day after day, week after week, and those that have a one-time or very infrequent need to rent out their home, apartment, or even a bedroom for less than 30 days. A prohibition would be in effect for the following scenarios:
1. A family sells their current home today, January 14, but is unable to close on their new home until Feb. 1 -- so the new owner of the existing home agrees to let the family continue to occupy the home for two weeks in exchange for rent.
2. During a heavy rain storm, a home is is hit with flooding and sewer backup. A contracter infoms the family it will take about two weeks to clean and repair. The family contacts the owner of a vacant property for sale down the street and asks if they can rent out the property for two weeks and the owner agrees.
3. It is NU graduation time. A couple that is struggling financially and having difficulty making their mortgage payments receives a one-time offer to rent their house for a weekends to NU two parents for $1,000.
4. A researcher in town to collaborate with a Northwestern University professor for a period of three weeks would be prohibited from renting any bedroom, apartment, or house within Evanston.
Overall, this is a poor ordinace that makes no attempt to distinguish between the target of the ban and those that would be inadverntently caught up in the ban.
Howard Handler
Government Affairs Director
North Shore - Barrington Assoc. of REALTORS

Staying in Evanston

"A researcher in town to collaborate with a Northwestern University professor for a period of three weeks would be prohibited from renting any bedroom, apartment, or house within Evanston."
It would be nice if we had something like an extended stay hotel in Evanston....  you know, there's a big empty hole in the ground on Chicago where Heil & Heil used to be ....I wonder...
never mind...the NIMBYs will never allow it.

This ordinance is poorly

This ordinance is poorly crafted and a really bad idea. People should decide on their own what to do with their property. If there is excess noise, let police fine the offending tenants, if they are breaking any laws. But I don't see how this noise is any different from the noise we are subjected over and over from the thousands of students living in Evanston. What is next? No renting to students? And then no renting to couples with babies or hyperactive 2-year olds? You have to be kidding me... Go after the people breaking the law, and don't try to stiffle law-abiding tax-paying residents with silly measures.

That is the worst idea ever!

This ordinance is poorly crafted and a really bad idea. People should decide on their own what to do with their property. If there is excess noise, let police fine the offending tenants, if they are breaking any laws. But I don't see how this noise is any different from the noise we are subjected over and over from the thousands of students living in Evanston. What is next? No renting to students? And then no renting to couples with babies or hyperactive 2-year olds? You have to be kidding me... Go after the people breaking the law, and don't try to stiffle law-abiding tax-paying residents with silly measures.

Noise ordinance violated? punish the violator not VR owners

Don't put the burden on the property owners who wish to rent their property as they see fit. Place the burden on the tenants, whether short or long term. If a noise ordinance is violated, give those tenants that violated it a ticket. Laws are already in place to avoid any disturbance that one of these tenants could break. Just enforce the existing laws! Everybody wins here. Tenant violates noise ordinance, tenant gets ticket for 300.00. Property owner is innocent. He did not make the noise. More money into city coffers. Neighbor is vindicated.

The mentality in place now to ban rentals altogether reminds me of a traffic officer giving the ticket to the legal owner (the bank or rental car agency) instead of the driver operating the vehicle that violated a speed trap. Makes no sense. Shall we ban short-term car rentals or instead, the violating driver gets the ticket and speeding laws will have consequences for the actual end user and not the owner, thereby curbing undesirable behavior. Consistency.