Joining an ever-growing list of cities seeking to regulate the burgeoning short-term rental market, Cedar City, Utah has passed regulations governing the zones in which rentals are allowed to be operated as well as the types of licenses required. Operators of short-term rentals will be required to have a business license, carry insurance, and pay all requisite taxes. This comes as a pleasant surprise as many cities have either sought to ban the practice entirely, or mandate occupancy and zoning restrictions. Homeowners and city officials nation wide have been debating the appropriate way to respect people’s rights in regards to operating their businesses, the rights to one’s own property, and the rights to safety and privacy. Aside from the licensing and insurance requirements, the new measure also allows short term rentals in all zones (as opposed to strictly residential zones). Unfortunately, this meant areas that were strictly residential (i.e. subdivisions) were also likely to have short term rental traffic in neighborhoods that might object to this practice.
Concerns of Neighbors are Valid
The concerns of people in that oppose the operation of short-term rentals in their neighborhoods are completely valid. Investments are put at risk guests of short-term rentals damage neighboring homes or structures. The obverse being that homeowners are free to do what they want with their property within the limits of the law. To this end, it is prudent to ensure that those operating rental properties are doing their due diligence in ensuring the safety of their neighbors. More traditional businesses are required to do this and as such, short- term rentals should be required to do so as well. At the end of the day, short term rentals are businesses.