Lake Norman NIMBY mafia style intimidation

9 Replies

Looking to get some insight from others that may have STR properties in the Lake Norman area. I'm seeing that there is a strong resistance in certain neighborhoods (maybe rightfully so if there have been poorly overseen party houses in the neighborhood). I just bought a place and so far I've met two neighbors and gotten an earful from both that they are fighting STR in the area. The conversation goes quickly from "Hey, welcome to the neighborhood" to "we don't want you here." I had a contractor at the house who heard some of the conversation with a neighbor and said I need to be careful as the resistance won't only be verbal or a cold shoulder, but other forms of intimidation are common in the area - harassments, stones through car windows, etc. - things that this contractor had experienced himself.

I don't want to be a pariah in the neighborhood. I want a retirement home that I can use STR to help afford for the next 10-15 years. I wonder if the resident's experiences have just tarnished their attitudes irrecoverably and I'll end up being miserable and constantly stressed.

@Luke Carl

Evidently it depends on the clientele of the STR. We get very good compliments from our neighbors regarding our guests. And we're talking about a duplex on a 60x100 town lot with neighbors on each side.
they’re booked at a 100% occupancy during the summer and 60-70 the rest of the year. 
Maybe we’re just fortunate, but we’ve not had any issues with the guests and neighbors. 

@Mike M. My small town 2200 people has lost about 70% of its long term rentals to STR. Over the past year a few, maybe 5 properties out of 100 have been getting noise/party complaints. The town is now considering banning STR because of these 5 properties.

I have suggested licensing the STR properties with a nominal fee and a 2 year renewal period. There would be a 3-strike you're out rule for violations with an increasing fine structure for the owners before losing their license for the remainder of the 2 year period.

I don’t think it’s fair to penalize and ban everyone because of a few bad eggs.

Right. Permitted is one thing. Welcome is another. The realtor just just touted what a great area it was for STR. A good way to get an otherwise out of reach property and get help with the mortgage. Hopefully I'm not too naïve to think we can vet the renters, put specific family and neighbor friendly language in our listings, and put protections in place (noise detectors, people counters, etc.) to shutdown problem renters immediately.

Originally posted by @Luke Carl :

Have you ever lived next to an STR? It's not fun

YMMV

We have a guest house on one of our properties, and our other STR has a STR next door. All delightful people, these vacation rental folks! We have so much fun with all of the BnB'ers that it is one of the foremost reasons we list when people ask us about this business. Sorry your experiences have not been up to par....

Originally posted by @Mike M. :

Right. Permitted is one thing. Welcome is another. The realtor just just touted what a great area it was for STR. A good way to get an otherwise out of reach property and get help with the mortgage. Hopefully I'm not too naïve to think we can vet the renters, put specific family and neighbor friendly language in our listings, and put protections in place (noise detectors, people counters, etc.) to shutdown problem renters immediately.

@Mike M - Sorry your experience is starting out this way, I don't think it has to end up badly...it is up to you now to take control of the situation and MAKE SURE that your STR is not only not a negative, but an absolute benefit to the neighborhood.

Ultimately all these people want is to not be bothered and most importantly to not have their property values affected negatively. So kill 'em with kindness, but also let them know that you will not be F'ed with.

My situation with the last house we bought to STR was the opposite. It was a, let's say, 'neglected' property in the downtown area of an popular city. The area was due for gentrification, and as the neighbors came over to introduce themselves, their first question was always "what are you going to do with the place?" As soon as I said AIRBnB they always burst into a huge smile. Because there was one other STR on the block ahead of me, these people knew that a STR means immaculate properties inside and out, and an owner that cares.

Let these neighbors of yours know that because of you, this property will always be the nicest in the area. And then make sure it is. They will change their minds, but you gotta put up cameras and be prepared yourself to deal with any partiers. No one likes confrontation, but you might need to go down their late at night and forcibly shut down a party by yourself, not waiting for the cops if they're too far away.

Just my .02, good luck.

If this is going to be your retirement home in the future and want to keep good relations with your neighbors I would suggest then only renting out the house enough weekends to pay the yearly mortgage. Once you have meet that then stop renting it out. 

If this is not going to be a place where you live and its just a business, then you need to take on a business like attitude towards the neighbors. You dont need to be rude or ignore their complaints. But you cant let them run your life either. I'm sympathetic to the full time residence in places that are heavy to STR. It truly can be a nightmare. But at the same time, places that are heavy to STR, are places that rely on tourism to survive. They have to realize that this is what living in those places comes with. I do support regulations on STRs too. There has to be a compromise somewhere. Its just sad that pretty much the only compromise the anti-STR ppl want is an out-right ban on STRs and wont listen to any other reasoning.

@Mike M.

In my somewhat limited STR owning experience, I have found MUCH LESS opposition to STR with 30 day minimum stays than with the 2 or 3 day rentals. My guess is that the guest staying 60, 90 days or more quickly becomes part of the neighborhood, adopting to common routines, etc. The fear is that the short term guests may act like the hotel guests in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.