Letter to the Editor

DISAGREES WITH LETTER ON SHORT TERM RENTALS

Dear Editor:

I found the letter from the woman at “Stop Child Predators” regarding Short Term rentals in Boston to be inaccurate and a bit histrionic, not to minimize the importance of child safety but I’m getting tired of people blaming short term rental hosts for every problem we face in Boston.

The rapidly expanding short term rental industry has indeed created problems in some Boston neighborhoods, oversight and regulation could be helpful but lawmakers need to take great care to protect small neighborhood homeowners who often depend on their short term rental income to keep their two or three family homes, affordable.

Some have claimed that anything beyond renting out a sofa or spare bedroom in ones home should be prohibited and that anyone renting out “whole apartments” should be considered an investor to be prohibited . For owner/residents of 2 and 3 family houses affordability is often a struggle especially in Boston’s less affluent neighborhoods, the extra income a rental brings in can make the difference between staying where one has lived for decades or being forced out. These are our homes, not investment vehicles.

The writer claims that short term rentals cause a dangerous “influx of strangers coming and going in our neighborhoods” including sexual predators who could rent an Air Bnb. The writer also suggests that short term rental hosts make bad neighbors and that their rentals are bad for the community, I find this to be an inaccurate sweeping statement and offensive to the majority of hosts many of which are the actual long term neighbors the writer claims we need more of.

Your neighbor who owns a 2 or 3 family house and perhaps rents out the spare apt short term is most likely your best and most responsible neighbor. On my block for example there are still a handful of neighbors who own 3 family row houses and have lived here decades  We are the ones who’s names you know, who attend neighborhood meetings, cleanups, social gatherings and take great pride in the neighborhood.  The writer claims that with short term rentals “no one knows their neighbors anymore” and “the community fabric is no longer there”.

The writer needs to understand that if new legislation wipes out the ability of long time property owners like me and my neighbors to keep our homes affordable we will be replaced, and its not going to be by

Daniel Sugarman