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GUEST COMMENTARY One VRD owner's complaint

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Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:09 am

In January 2003, my brother-in-law, his wife, my wife and I met in Lincoln City to decide on a vacation rental to purchase. We were all in our mid 50s with an income from a family trust. We looked at every beachfront property for sale in Lincoln City that weekend.

We chose a property, 4425 S.W. Beach Avenue, because it was constructed for a vacation rental. Vinyl siding, metal roofing, rough cedar interior walls, no interior or exterior paint to redo every year, and a history of family rentals. My brother-in-law had rented this home in the early 1980s as a vacation rental. It was built by three real estate salesmen from Salem as a vacation rental in 1976.

The home north of us was a vacation rental and still is. The home south of us was a vacation rental and still is. Now, the VRD consensus group is proposing that this area should be off limits to future vacation rentals and that ours should expire when the property next changes hands.

Our home has a 36-year history as a vacation rental. I would venture to guess that our 36-year history is more longevity than most of the people complaining about this issue.

We don't complain about our neighbors parking in the street. We don't complain about the garbage dumpster at the apartments across the street. We don't complain when our neighbors are working on their vehicles at 11 p.m. We don't complain about the salal and blackberries taking over landscapes. We don't care what plants our neighbors plant.

We should have cared when the home south of us went up an additional two stories and the additional shade all but killed our 40–foot shore pine. We don't complain when tourists park in our lot to use the stairs to the beach. We hire a reputable management company to manage our home. We manage our home to be an asset to the community.

Now it is time to complain. In August, one of our clients was confronted by a man who had taken pictures of two bags of garbage that previous renters had left outside of the garbage can. He had filed a complaint with the City. The City had contacted our management company and the bags were removed.

The man was on the property, yelling and screaming, asking what our new client was going to do with his garbage, which was due to be picked up the next morning.

We don't care how this gentleman acts towards us as owners, our management company, the City or the police department — but for him to come onto our property and act so inappropriately towards our clients crosses a line. If he has a problem, he has a proper recourse outlined in the present rules.

We talked with the City police department and were advised that we couldn't act against this person until we had put him on legal notice.

While we were formulating our response, my brother-in-law had a confrontation with this gentleman's wife. On a sunny afternoon, my brother-in-law was on our back deck listening to the radio. He noticed this gentleman's wife standing in the street positioned so she could see the people on the deck. After 15 minutes, he went outside and talked with her. Nothing came of this because he introduced himself as an owner.

She knew this was a vacation rental and she was intentionally interfering with normal beachfront activities. If these people come onto our property again, we will use the only remedy available to us through the local police department. As VRD owners, we all need to act on these inappropriate and unwarranted actions.

The real problem that vacation rental owners face is the vicious attacks that a few people seem to think they are compelled to do. They need to be held to the same standards that you and I are held to. They have to call the police or the City. The City or the police call the representative on the license to fix the problem. If the problem isn't fixed file a complaint.

If these people confront the renters, have them fined or arrested. This needs to be addressed. At this time, Lincoln City has a group of vigilantes that are using their brand of justice to impose their will on others. It crosses the line, when that justice is imposed on innocent visitors that are the lifeblood of Lincoln City.

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Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • rogson posted at 8:36 pm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    rogson Posts: 46

    It should be the first and foremost responsibilty of the Vacation Rental Owner/ Vacation Rental Management Companies to ensure the safety of the neighborhood by knowing whom they are renting to and setting rule's in place for the people renting.
    As well as Rule's need to be set for Vacation Rental Owner's, "Especially" one's that
    are located in Residential Zone's. There are many reason's for concern when living
    next to a Vacation Rental. Boomshine bring's up many valid point's.
    There are reputable Vacation Rental Management Companies, and then there are
    some that let things slip through the cracks. A Vacation Rental Owner that cares
    would speak with the Resident's that reside in their Neighborhood and see what
    issues need or could be resolved in a civil manner. I have seen and heard concerns
    of Resident's living next to VRD's, and they have every right to be concerned
    when living on a street of what once was a neighborhood, now turned Vacation
    Rental Neighborhood, to feel Safe and Secure, hence Ordinances.
    Their voices should be heard. I think it is of utmost importance to show concern
    to the people that reside near your Vacation Rentals to ensure that you are
    just as concerned and will show respect by abiding by Rules set in place for
    the Safety of the people renting, and for the Residents that live next to the Rented
    Vacation Dwelling. Empathy goes a long way's when it comes to something like
    this. I can Empathise with them in this situation certainly. I agree with Boomshine
    exactly, that one should have to live next to a VRD for awhile to see what it is like.

    they

     
  • boomshine posted at 10:24 pm on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    boomshine Posts: 2

    People don't respond like that to situations in their neighborhoods quickly or lightly - it takes long weeks, months and years of constant ins and out of short-term renters, essentially strangers, to break them down. Living near VRDs is very stressful. Owners think they have things "managed", but they really don't know what goes on there all the time. Each time a new car or group of cars drives up the local residents do not know if they are full of quiet people or noisy people. There are many variables and it wears on folks not knowing what each new renter will contribute to the peace and livibility of their neighborhoods. VRDs are just a fancy way to say motel/hotel, only on a smaller scale. Neighbors have no peace of mind and a nice person can get fed up and begin to feel threatened and like they have to take a more aggressive approach to dealing with it. Owners, I am afraid, are not as in tune with the realities as they may think. My heart goes out to the folks that are driven to extremes, it is not a good way for them to feel. Owners need to take responsibilty for contributing to this. I wish people who want to start a VRD had to live near one for awhile to see what its really like.

     
  • RCRush posted at 7:36 pm on Wed, Sep 26, 2012.

    RCRush Posts: 83

    Interesting story. I would suggest you be a little more selective in who you are renting to if you believe that story. I think I know the person you are talkig about. He has every right to take pictures of accumulated trash, because that is in direct violation of a VRD permit. There are homeowners, including me, in all parts of town who photograph overrun trash, cars parked in the roadway, and a million other things that make our lives miserable because of too many poorly managed VRDs. There are some that are managed very well, and if you need a good manager, I'd suggest either A-1 Beach Rentals or Jon Oksenholt. Both monitor their rentals daily and that problem doesn't occur at their rentals. As for the man screaming and yelling at your renter, if it is the gentleman I'm thinking of, I have seen him upset at a VRD issue. He is quiet, soft-spoken, and states his case clearly and concisely, and NEVER yells. And I bet neither he nor his wife stepped on your property. I'm sure he isn't happy with a VRD with a bunch of trash in his neighborhood. None of us are happy about that situation. But if your renter is telling you he was yelling, you may want to give some thought to the possibility that the renter isn't telling you the truth. We don't hate VRDs. We do have a real problem with poorly managed ones and with renters who are misleading management companies and owners about what they're doing in your home.

     

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