Complaints about short-term rentals

While short-term rentals, such as Vacation Rentals by Owners (VRBO), are gaining popularity as an alternative to hotels for travelers or those seeking a stay, rentals are not popular among governments. local municipal authorities.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said he would never consider allowing VRBO, or whatever, in Ridgeland. He believes having it in the city would hurt tourism in Ridgeland.

“[Short-term rentals] don’t pay tourist tax which harms our tourism commission which uses funds to promote tourism, ”said McGee. “We believe that short-term rentals do not give a positive image to the city and do not help our economy to develop. ”

Without these optional short-term rentals, McGee said it helps fill their hotels, which is important to the industry.

“The hospitality industry helps our economy grow,” McGee said.

Ridgeland’s zoning ordinance does not allow housing to be rented for less than 30 days. Any accommodation rented for more than 30 days and less than 90 days must be the subject of a permit issued by the mayor and the council of aldermen.

“No one has ever applied for this license, so nothing at Ridgeland should be leased for less than 90 days,” said Director of Public Works Alan Hart.

The Madison government also does not allow short-term rentals. Madison’s director of community development Kianca Stringfellow said VRBO, AirBnB and other short-term rentals are not currently listed in Madison’s zoning ordinances as permitted use. The city passed the Rental Inspection and Real Estate Licensing Act in response to the increase in the number of rental properties that are not being maintained by absentee and out-of-state landlords.

“The city wishes to preserve and protect single-family residential communities,” Stringfellow said. “To rent a residential property, the landlord must obtain a certificate of compliance which is valid for one year or until the end of this lease, whichever occurs first. If the lease is terminated before the expiration of one year and the landlord intends to rent to another tenant, the landlord must obtain a new inspection and certificate of compliance before renting the property.

In Jackson, although these short-term rentals are permitted, not everyone is happy with them. City Councilor Ashby Foote said there was currently no VRBO ordinance in Jackson at the time, but it’s an important topic to discuss. A neighborhood association is looking for changes to the zoning ordinance to include rules and regulations for short-term rental properties.

Morrell Richardson, owner and spokesperson for a condominium association along Lakeland Drive near Mayes Lake, said he asked an individual to set up an AirBnB next to him, and it didn’t not been a pleasant experience.

Richardson said the individual bought the condo adjacent to him and he felt the man was going to move in or return him. However, when the renovations were completed in July, Richardson said he asked a woman entering the apartment if she was the new owner, and she said she was there for AirBnB.

“He kept it from us until it was too late, then there was an uproar in the neighborhood and we kept trying to contact him and he did not get back in touch,” Richardson said. . “The only way I could contact him was to pass myself off as someone who wanted to rent the property.”

Richardson said it was a six unit condo and they all share a driveway, where people are constantly coming and going.

“Every time we went out the back door, there was a strange car coming up,” said Richardson. “Every time I walked out my back door, I saw strange people looking inside.”

He said the individual also placed a security camera aimed at Richardson’s car, then claimed the camera was vandalized with duct tape and attempted to file a police report but had no video evidence. In addition, Richardson believes that the advertisement for the condo on AirBnB is not true.

“It advertises free on-street parking where it is clearly displayed against the parking lot and a towing zone,” said Richardson. “He announced six guests, which we absolutely don’t have six people in a three-bedroom house. He comes from being an awful neighbor.

The only ordinance for Jackson regarding short-term rentals is for guesthouses, which requires a location to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a designated Jackson monument, or a Mississippi monument. It must have adequate parking, exterior lighting must face the adjacent property, and signage must comply with the City of Jackson signing ordinance. Bed and breakfasts must provide proof of this to the zoning division. However, none of this applies specifically to short-term rentals like VRBO and AirBnb, but some believe these short-term rentals qualify.

“They’re trying to say AirBnB isn’t a bed and breakfast when it’s literally in the name,” Richardson said. “We are urging him to apply for a permit but he knows he won’t get it.”

A representative from the Jackson Zoning Department attended one of the ward meetings last week to try to resolve the issue. Richardson said he thinks it is highly unusual for the zoning department to attend a neighborhood meeting and hopes this will allow the city to control these short-term rentals.

“It seems Jackson is pretty much fed up with AirBnB taking over, and I think the Zoning Department wants to see this as an example of how to treat them or prevent them from taking over your neighborhood,” then we’ll see, “said Richardson.” We’re really looking forward to the zoning department looking into this closely and saying they can’t do it. ”

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