Callaghan & Callaghan – Attorneys – Rhode Island



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Daily Rental Party Houses Crush Zoning Codes

Daily rental party houses have outpaced local zoning codes nationwide. The rise of short term rentals have left neighbors with noise complaints, trash, and potentially lower property values. Narragansett, Newport, Austin, New Orleans, and Nashville have all felt the effect of party houses within family neighborhoods.

Friday’s NYT featured a story from Austin, Texas. Websites like Airbnb and have made daily rentals a simple proposition.

Families close to a notorious Austin party house have seen late night parties, karaoke, front lawn beer pong, and general nudity. Renters wandering the streets with wheeled suitcases and the arrival of Uber-centrific traffic have been a weekly or nightly occurrence.

Austin attempted to restrict daily rentals through limits on unrelated renters. However, zoning code officers have found that enforcement is nearly impossible.  Proving long term residency is difficult enough. Proving that a specific person does or does not rent a home or apartment on a certain night is practically impossible.

Airbnb challenged the Austin restrictions.  They believe that renting out a home, for one night or 365, is a fundamental right. And they contend that a rental residency does not qualify as a business.

The rise of internet driven daily rentals within quiet neighborhoods is a new phenomenon – but it is not going away.