GOOD NEIGHBORS COMMITMENT: WHAT WE PROPOSE
The Walworth County Good Neighbor Association (WCGNA) believes it is important and possible to work with elected officials and regulators to identify reasonable, enforceable regulations that ensure the safety of our neighborhoods and protect our local quality of life. We also believe that, working with our neighbors, we can develop and promote policies that hold homeowners and renters responsible and accountable to each other, to neighbors, and to neighborhoods.
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Developing a Reasonable & Enforceable Regulatory Framework
The Good Neighbors Association has reviewed regulations across the country where Short Term Rentals are working well for homeowners, neighbors, neighborhoods and communities as a whole. Some of the best practices that we believe could work well for Walworth County include:
Requiring a homeowner to obtain a Short Term Rental (STR) Operating License. In Austin, Texas the STR operating license includes a fee paid to the local municipality, a fee to notify nearby property owners of the license, proof of property insurance, proof of payment of hotel occupancy tax, and a certified inspection. The license needs to be renewed on an annual basis. Homeowners who fail to obtain a license face enforcement actions including citations. Palm Desert, California, fines homeowners up to $5,000 for operating without a permit or failing to collect their Transient Occupancy Tax.
- Requiring an annual fire inspection.
- Requiring state taxes on the rental be collected.
- Requiring contact information to be provided to local police departments.
- Requiring that the license/registration number be placed on all listings
- Providing local units of government the authority to enforce and manage the rental process.
- Ensuring that administrative and enforcement costs can be funded with licensing/registration fees.
The WCGNA supports consideration of the views and concerns of neighbors of private home rentals in determining what regulations may be reasonable and appropriate.
Developing a Good Neighbor ‘Code of Conduct’ for Short Term Rental Homeowners & Renters
Private home STR property owners and tenants must be responsible and accountable to each other, to neighbors, and to neighborhoods. Tenants should receive a “Code of Conduct” or other guide notifying them of noise, parking, and/or other ordinances or restrictions they will be expected and required to follow. Some of the best practices for a Good Neighbor Code of Conduct that we believe could work well for Walworth County include:
- Loud music and noise is prohibited. Quiet times are from 10pm to 8am
- Overnight guests shall not exceed the property’s posted and certified occupancy.
- Only Registered Guests shall occupy the Rental Property.
- Prom groups, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and unsupervised individuals under the age of 25 are not allowed.
- All rental properties are designated for residential use consistent with local codes and ordinances:
- Cars parked on premises shall not exceed parking capacity of property.
- Parking in or blocking of neighboring driveways of rental property is prohibited. Vehicles will not be parked or driven where not allowed.
- Posted street signs (speed limits, parking, etc.) are to be obeyed at all times.
- Motor homes, campers, and tents are prohibited and may not be parked or hooked up at the rental property.
- Only registered pets are allowed in designated rental properties.
- Leash laws must be obeyed at all times and guests will pick up after their pets and dispose of waste properly.
- Help keep our neighborhood clean! Garbage will be bagged securely and placed in the trash bins provided. City code requires all trash bins to be rolled to the curb the night before the appropriate pick up day & returned to the rental property within 24 hours.
- Guests may not use explosives—fireworks, gunpowder, and gasoline— at any time during their stay at a short-term rental property.
- Open-air flames are prohibited except in designated areas. Guests may use in-ground and portable fire pits, though they are not to be left unattended at any time.
All neighbors of rental property will be provided with contact information in the event of guest disturbance or emergency.