Citizen Property Rights vs Interest of Hotels and/or UVM?
Firstly, as a Libertarian, I don’t support the city providing special incentives or punishments for specific property uses. Citizens should be able to do as they wish with their own property whether they want to live in it, rent it short or long term, rent it out individual rooms or run a business. I’m not a fan of most zoning and feel its unnecessary.
It also seems that the city has allowed a lot of hotel development in the city and perhaps its there interests that they are protecting as they stand to lose with more homeowners renting out rooms on AirBNB.
Also, what about UVM. They continue to expand and the students put much pressure on the housing market in Burlington. Why isn’t the city punishing UVM for that? Again, I don’t believe they should, but it doesn’t seem to fair to punish one set of property owners and not another for their impact on affordable long term rentals.
Excessive Regulation & Taxes = Low Number of Rentals/ Higher Rents
That being said, if the city prefers long term rental over short term rentals, they should consider making it much easier for property owners to rent long term:
Excessive regulation, reappraisals, and excessive property taxes have caused the high rents and/or less available rentals. The regulations make it too hard to build enough units of housing in Burlington. Regulations make the too few permitted units much more expensive, driving up rents. The Burlington Housing Authority staff themselves have been quoted as saying that they wouldn’t own rental property in Burlington because the City makes it so hard for landlords.
The city should reduce regulations to encourage rental investment and people to open their homes to others by renting out rooms or sharing housing, such as mother-in-law apartments and the homeshare program.
I spent several years in a town very similar to Burlington, except it had less code enforcement, housing regulation and property taxes. The rents were the lowest I’ve ever seen. Landlords and tenants got along just fine as there was plenty of competition for tenants. I was able to rent a unit for $235/month, with all utilities included. Where there is more competition like this, Landlords often advertise “move-in specials,” where rent is reduced for the first month or they will even pay for your moving expenses. It would be great to see the same opportunities here in Burlington.
I urge the city council to work towards reducing the regulations and property taxes in order to encourage more rentals that are also affordable.
The ability to short term rent your property is a fundamental property right and there should not be a punishment for doing so. Innovative technological advances such as AirBNB with short term rentals is part of the growing trend of the sharing economy that have been great for society as whole. It’s unfortunate that cities and states are trying to suppress it with increased regulation.