How older Americans benefit from locally regulated short-term rentals
- Saul Anuzis is the president of the 60 PLUS Association and the American Association of Older Persons.
Tennessee is a beautiful state that attracts millions of visitors each year with its varied landscapes and countless attractions.
While these tourists can be a boon to the local economy, there are unfortunate by-products that affect the fabric of local neighborhoods where seniors live.
Many of these tourists opt for short-term rentals through companies like Airbnb and VRBO. Therefore, local jurisdictions must be able to ensure that these rentals do not disrupt the people who live in these communities.
Unfortunately, some MPs are considering policies that would prevent local control of short-term rentals.
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Older people expect security and stability
When a family invests in a home, many of them expect to live in the community for most, if not the rest, of their lives.
This is especially true for older people who, when they settle into their retirement years and often on a fixed income, expect to settle down for good – and they should be safe from the burdensome disruptions. from strangers.
From young families to seniors, residents rely on the benefits of living in a safe and stable community where they know their neighbors and can live with ease and comfort. But any legislation that could deprive cities and towns of the ability to protect their communities weakens the oversight of short-term rentals and puts those same communities at risk.
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Neighborhoods are destabilizing
The problem is not that some landlords are listing their property for rent, but rather entire neighborhoods in places like Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville and elsewhere are becoming unrecognizable as many homes no longer belong to community members.
Instead, they are purchased by out-of-state investors who only want these properties to operate as for-profit vacation rentals.
There has been a drastic increase in this trend in recent years, a trend that is destabilizing neighborhoods and worrying elders and other community members.
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Criminal activity is a serious concern
Unfortunately, short-term rentals contribute to a rising crime in many areas. Take, for example, a recent filming in a short-term rental in East Nashville that left one dead and three injured in a robbery, which detectives say happened during or just after a big party.
In recent months, Nashville police have also investigated at least four different cases of short-term rentals targeted by criminals. These rentals are often the target of break-ins and other crimes due to the lack of certainty about who is coming and going from the residences and the lack of familiarity of the guests with the house and the area.
Simply put, seniors shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of risk and instability during their retirement years.
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Lack of oversight tears the fabric of communities apart
A revolving door of passing visitors is not what seniors want in their neighborhood. All too often, short-term rentals turn into “party houses” for the weekend, causing noise and nuisance that seniors cannot escape.
In Pigeon Forge, creepy parties at short-term rental homes are wreak havoc in once-peaceful rural neighborhoods. When your top priority is visiting family or grandchildren, the last thing you want to do is feel trapped or unsafe in your own community due to the volatility of short-term rental visitors. term.
Elderly members of the community, who often live alone, deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood. But short-term rentals diminish that security, leaving older people feeling vulnerable.
The problems arising from unregulated short-term rentals are clear. The lack of oversight of short-term rentals is gradually tearing at the fabric of our communities, and seniors are often the hardest hit personally and financially.
As commercial investors continue to rapidly purchase residential homes to convert into short-term rentals, the promise of a safe and familiar neighborhood in which to retire is becoming increasingly out of reach.
Tennessee residents deserve better; they deserve stability, privacy and affordability in their neighborhoods, which is why it’s so important that local government leaders – who know the needs of their constituents best – have the power to regulate housing.
Saul Anuzis is the president of the 60 PLUS Association and the American Association of Older Persons.
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