ChatGPT-generated recommendations for regulating short-term rentals
By Tim Rowland
If mere mortals can’t crack the short-term rental nut, what about artificial intelligence? I asked ChatGPT what it would do, and it quickly spat out 10 recommendations which I present here without editorial comment — except to say, spoiler alert, that it didn’t come up with much that hasn’t already been discussed:
Preventing residential housing from being converted into short-term rentals in vacation communities can be challenging but not impossible. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Zoning and Regulations: Implement clear zoning regulations and land-use policies that distinguish between residential and commercial properties. Designate specific areas or zones where short-term rentals are allowed, while protecting residential areas from such activities.
- Licensing and Permits: Require property owners to obtain specific licenses or permits for short-term rentals. This can involve a vetting process to ensure compliance with safety standards, taxation requirements, and other regulations. Enforce strict penalties for operating without proper permits.
- Occupancy Limits: Set limits on the number of occupants allowed in short-term rentals to discourage overcrowding and maintain the character of residential neighborhoods. This can be enforced through local ordinances and monitored by property inspections.
- Minimum Stay Requirements: Establish minimum stay durations for short-term rentals. For example, require a minimum of 7 or 14 nights per booking. This discourages frequent turnover of guests and reduces the attractiveness of short-term rentals for property owners.
- Homeowner Associations (HOAs): Empower homeowner associations in vacation communities to establish and enforce rules regarding short-term rentals. HOAs can create covenants that prohibit or restrict short-term rentals in their communities.
- Taxation and Regulation of Rental Platforms: Collaborate with rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, or Booking.com to enforce regulations and collect appropriate taxes. Establish partnerships that ensure compliance with local laws and require platforms to share data on rentals within the community.
- Enforceable Penalties: Create stringent penalties for property owners who violate regulations by operating illegal short-term rentals. Fines, revocation of permits, or legal action can serve as deterrents.
- Community Engagement and Education: Foster dialogue and education among community members to create awareness of the impacts of short-term rentals. Encourage residents to report violations, and involve them in discussions about preserving the character of residential areas.
- Monitoring and Reporting: Invest in resources to monitor short-term rental activities, such as dedicated staff or automated systems that scan rental platforms for listings within the community. Encourage residents to report suspected violations.
- Data Collection and Analysis: Gather data on the impact of short-term rentals in vacation communities to inform decision-making. This can include studying housing affordability, neighborhood dynamics, and local economic factors.
Remember that the effectiveness of these strategies depends on local laws, community cooperation, and the commitment of regulatory authorities to enforce regulations consistently.
So thanks for that, Poindexter. (OK, one editorial comment.)
About this series
Adirondack Explorer is highlighting the region’s housing challenges, with a multi-part series running in our magazine, online and in a regular newsletter you can sign up for here. Award-winning Freelance Journalist Tim Rowland investigates causes of the housing shortage, housing’s effects on other aspects of Adirondack life, hacks that people use to get into a home and potential solutions being tried here and elsewhere. His reporting is based on review of real estate data, documents and extensive interviews.