Can bad neighbors kill a short term rental

6 Replies

I'm considering converting one of my properties from a LTR to a STR whenever the current tenants move out. After running the numbers, the house would be way more profitable as a STR, even despite the city's (Philadelphia) 180 day limit. However I lived in this house a few years ago as a house hack, and I know this block tends to get the occasional/sometimes frequent drama with a select few neighbors. There's also a vacant lot directly across from the house that is always overgrown, collects trash and sometimes undesirable visitors. Definitely an eye sore.

Has anyone experienced guest dissatisfaction and/or poor ratings as a result of bad neighbors near a STR property? The general area is nice- close to bars/restaurants, public transit, decent parking etc. And the house is newly remodeled, and will photograph well with some nice staging and furnishings. Its mostly a peaceful, friendly block. I just wonder how these things may impact ratings and business in general.

Thanks! 

@Matt I.

Matt, from your story the thought hit me that perhaps a win-win might be to set work day to clean up the lot across the street and invite the community to help in the effort. Perhaps you might be alone the first work day, but as you make progress on the clean up and keep inviting others, you might just foster a new community spirit that would solve your STR issues.

Believe it or not, I am NOT a tree-hugger type. More a MAGA man.  But the situation seemed to be an opportunity.

Cheers,

Buddy 

Originally posted by @Matt I. :

I'm considering converting one of my properties from a LTR to a STR whenever the current tenants move out. After running the numbers, the house would be way more profitable as a STR, even despite the city's (Philadelphia) 180 day limit. However I lived in this house a few years ago as a house hack, and I know this block tends to get the occasional/sometimes frequent drama with a select few neighbors. There's also a vacant lot directly across from the house that is always overgrown, collects trash and sometimes undesirable visitors. Definitely an eye sore.

Has anyone experienced guest dissatisfaction and/or poor ratings as a result of bad neighbors near a STR property? The general area is nice- close to bars/restaurants, public transit, decent parking etc. And the house is newly remodeled, and will photograph well with some nice staging and furnishings. Its mostly a peaceful, friendly block. I just wonder how these things may impact ratings and business in general.

Thanks! 

To answer your title question. The answer is yes a trashy house or yard next-door can have a negative affect on your rental.I have a cute little house fixed a really nice. It's not in a HOA.The neighbors next to me have one of the least desirable Messy yards on the street. All the other houses are Nice and kept clean. I felt I had no choose, but to turn it into a long rental due to the house next door. Of course at the end of the day the decision is yours as to a short term rental next to a trashy house.

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@Matt I. Neighbors can certainly have an impact on resale!

When I relocated to Maine 2 years ago, my wife and I were looking for our new home.  There was one in particular that looked good on paper, so we scheduled a visit.

And then we saw the house directly across the street.  It looked like a tornado had gone through a junkyard.  Piles of scrap metal, hubcaps, discarded grills and appliances, etc, all piled 5+ feet high in front of the house.

We never even got out of the car.  We just called the listing agent and said we wouldn't be going in for a look and told him why.

Here's another example from the same home search.

We found a nice looking ranch that seemed to be worth a visit.  It was down a pretty secluded side road, but there was a big gate across the driveway (???) that was left open for us.  And then there were cameras.  Everywhere.  In rural Maine!

We get out for a look and within 2 minutes a beat up Subaru pulls n behind us.  A guy pulls up and says "So you gonna buy it?"  I said I don't know - we haven't even been inside yet.

He says, well, I life in the double-wide down the road. (red flag #1)  I'm your neighbor.  I like to hunt on your property (5 acres), but the lady living here now won't let me.  Ain't that stupid? (red flag #2)

I'm starting to think...nobody followed us down the road.  How did he know we were there?  Then it hit me - he's probably hacked the cameras. (red flag #3)

Then he goes on to say, The property line is that stone wall down there.  We do that on a handshake. 

I responded by saying, well if we buy it, I'd get a survey done, to which he responded firmly, WE DO THAT ON A HANDSHAKE. (red flag #4)

Then the coup de gras, Oh yeah - I'm also the tax assessor for the town. (red flag #5 - and that was enough!)

We noped right the heck out of there.  Never even went inside the house.

So yes, the neighbors can go a long way to making your house very unattractive.

Your neighbors will absolutely determine your property value and will very much determine your guest's satisfaction rating. If you notice the issues, they will too. Solid ratings are the life blood of a STR and you can't ask a Cadillac price for a Kia type property. Your guests want safety, convenience and comfort. If you notice the degradation, it's reasonable to expect your guests to notice it too.

A couple yrs ago I stayed at a friend's Airbnb. Great location. Nice place. Etc. Each morning we walked past homeless using drugs. If I had paid a random host and not been informed that those would be my surroundings, I would have been upset. If your pricing it based on STRs close by but on nicer/safer blocks you are not pricing it right.