Letter: Your short-term rental opinion ignores property owners’ rights
Your opinion (as expressed in the May 12 “Our View”) adopts an unsupported conceit that “When a home is converted to a short-term rental, it is no longer available for long-term lease ….” You ignore the right of a property owner to determine the use of property consistent with zoning regulations.
Property owners have an absolute right not to make their property “available for long-term lease.” While it does not appear that Steamboat was plagued by numerous defaulted tenancies during imposition of COVID-19 eviction moratoria, many other towns were throughout the nation. Some property owners have wisely concluded that long-term rentals carry far greater risk of loss from crafty defaulting tenants and government impositions than short-term rentals, which may produce as much or more rent.
Steamboat’s many second-home owners enjoy the ability, consistent with zoning and HOA regulations, to share their properties with visitors and earn a bit of rent to cover ownership costs without the risk of loss from a defaulting long-term tenant. And, when they do, they must pay lodging tax. That’s fair.
Your opinion slyly argues for rent controls that even Lefty Californians understand never work to produce the presumed social benefit. An instructive example is that of a friend’s 104-year-old mother who occupied her eastside Manhattan apartment under “short-term” World War II New York City rent controls for over 75 years and never paid more than $400 per month rent.
Smart people will gladly take advantage of dumb government regulation. Just ask Steamboat restauranteurs and shop owners who cannot find workers. The markets will sort out rental ”availability” and pricing without your unilaterally labeling it an “affordable housing crisis” and abrogating property rights.
Where are you from anyway, California?
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