Bellaire considering restrictions of short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb, VRBO

Potential short-term rental restrictions in Bellaire
Potential short-term rental restrictions in Bellaire

BELLAIRE – The city of Bellaire is considering an ordinance that would put limits on homeowners who want to rent out their own property.

The proposed restrictions come as some homeowners complain the “City of Homes” is turning into a city of hotels with an uptick in homes being listed for rent on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

“We did not bargain to live next to a Holiday Inn,” said resident Jamie Siff Perkins, who spoke during a May city council meeting about problems with a neighboring home being used as a frequent Airbnb rental. “It has been a revolving door that has people in and out of that house. They’re charging between $400 to 450 a night for their house and they rent it to whoever can pay. A significant rise in noise, trash, and a significant uptick in traffic. My young children have been woken up all hours of the night. They’re rude, they’re disrespectful. It’s awful.”

The ordinance proposed by Bellaire city councilmembers Catherine Lewis and Jim Hotze would create a minimum six-month term for rental or lease of single-family homes with an exception for family members or previous/former owners.

“We consider Bellaire the ‘city of homes,’ and to have a hotel next to you is something we don’t think is something somebody should have to put up with,” Hotze said during the May 17 meeting.

Some homeowners say the ordinance would infringe on their rights.

“There are other reasons people rent out their homes for short term, it’s not just speculating or investing. You’re going to limit the rights of every single homeowner in Bellaire because of a few instances. It’s a big overreaction,” Brian Taylor told council members.

Cathy Doughty has owned her Bellaire home for 34 years and offers a private room and guest house for rent on Airbnb.

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