Bristol HarborVacations are meant to be a relaxing get-away from everyday life, while still in a comfortable setting that makes you feel “at home.” Perhaps that is one of the reasons so many people are turning to short-term private home rentals rather than hotels when they go on vacation; and why this trend is reflected in movies such as the Holiday. Renting a private home provides all the amenities of home, but in a location that is suitable for a vacation. In addition, the home owners who choose to rent their houses can garner a sizable benefit by supplementing their income when they would otherwise be leaving their house empty while they are away. With the current economy as it is, vacation home-rentals are an economical way to earn money.

However, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the neighbors who live near homes that are rented to vacationers are increasingly unhappy with the arrangement. They complain of noise brought by young vacationers who play loud music and drink heavily, and the increased number of people crowding the streets. Many cities have begun to institute bans or restrictions on renting homes for vacations, and even the state of New York has followed suit. Some of the cities that chose to regulate the rental practice have instituted licensing requirements and require the home owners to pay the same taxes as hotels. In response, home owners who have rented in the past are fighting back with lawsuits, and even winning in some cities, with court’s ruling against regulations that ban or restrict the practice. At issue are the competing rights of homeowners to do what they wish with their property, and the rights of neighboring homeowners to be free of unwanted noise and nuisance. With the growing trend of renting private homes to vacationers, these disagreements will likely continue.

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