BanyanNightly

By: Douglas Frens:

Over the past year, several owners have turned their homes into motels renting them out by the month, week or even day, to anyone who will pay.

Although it is written in our declaration of restrictions that no trade, business, profession, or any type of commercial activity shall be carried out upon any of our properties, these property owners have blatantly ignored this, and have established full-time vacation rentals in the middle of our strictly residential zoned neighborhood. They’ve even gone as far as to create websites to promote them, by posting their daily rates and boosting about the fact they provide linens, fully equipped kitchens and laundry supplies.

Smile Dentistry

The WHOA has notified the city code enforcement staff of these illegal businesses.   Neighbors on Banyan Lane have had to witness rotating groups of up to six vehicles unloading their luggage, food and other supplies on a weekly basis, often parking on the lawn to provide enough space for their friends who stay there as well.

Some of the rentals are even offered by the room, with the common areas of the house being shared by unrelated strangers for the rental period.   Garbage is not taken out on the regularly scheduled city pick up days, and in fact, the trash and recycling bins are left out in the front yard for weeks at a time.

This review for one of the rentals states they rented the home just for a few days over Thanksgiving
This review for one of the rentals states they rented the home just for a few days over Thanksgiving

While most residences of the Woodlands don’t have an issue with an investment rental with a signed one-year lease, they should have a problem with monthly, weekly or nightly rentals.

Neighbors have no idea who is staying at the house next door and the vacation renters have no knowledge of neighborhood rules and regulations. Nor do they care, as they will be leaving in a few days to go to back to their own homes.   The business owners have gone so far as to tell their customers to state that they are long term, if confronted by inquiring neighbors.

You can see some of these listings below before the owners discover this article and pull them.

This information is being shared with Woodlands neighbors to make everyone aware of this illegal home use and to dissuade any future business owners from making similar purchases in this restricted deeded neighborhood.

Is Uncle Sam really getting a piece of these room taxes?
Is Uncle Sam really getting a piece of these room taxes?

These businesses are being operated at:

5906 Caribbean Pine – This was purchased by a couple out of Toronto, Canada in January 13, 2012.

5703 Coco Palm Drive – Owned by the same couple as Caribbean Pine, this was purchased on November 11, 2011.

4711 Banyan Lane Purchased in March 5, 2013 This is corporate owned and and the owner lives in Toronto.

5708 White Hickory Circle –  Resident run, lives locally and has homestead exemption on this property.  Minimum rental 2 nights.  Guests say they enjoy using the Section Five pool when they visit.

Let’s tell the owners that we don’t want them to operate their rentals here anymore.  And to all real estate agents:  We understand that a lot of Canadians are purchasing homes in the Woodlands, and not all are using them as businesses.  If one of your buyers are listed above, please make sure that they, as well as those in the future, are aware of our rules.

Adam Baron Law
Transnora Limo

23 Responses to "Homeowners Renting Homes for Short-Term Stays"

  1. Why don’t you focus on cleaning up and renovating your own homes before commenting on other people’s business practices. A large part of the homes in the Woodlands have old roofs, old windows and outdated decor. Foreign investors inject large sums of money to bring the homes up to par with homes across the country and you criticize them for wanting to make a little bit of money in return. If anything they increase everyone else’s home evaluations.

    • Yes John… As a resident since Nov. 2008 I can tell you that I have never met a more complacent group of
      Homeowners as those who live here in the Woodlands Section 6 has had 3 homes foreclosed and
      bank owned for 4 years, yes 4 years Vacant; Overgrown with vegetation. I always have at least 2
      Derelict homes adopted by me and trimming, weeding & picking up trash.

      Couple of months ago we had the Tamarac code enforcement manager at one of our HOA Board meetings explain that what we consider
      a eyesore is not considered a eyesore for the Code dept. Also no questions were allowed for Mr Mark Woods
      per our WHOA Board. Being surrounded by Derelict Properties has proven quite costly as well for me personally,
      as the neighborhood rodents ate my ATD Alarm wiring in the attic to the the tune of $1200.00 and I now have
      monthly costs of $70.00 for 7 rodent bait boxes replaced with fresh poison monthly.

      I also was on my own when I had the child prostitution house across my street for 2 years. During that time our HOA section president would not reply to my written letters or emails. it ended when the Broward child protective agency did a morning raid on the property. The “Madam” of this operation also had 2 other Woodland homes rented as adult whore houses. She went to prison; amazingly all this news was kept out of the news media perhaps because the mayor lives here on White Oak Lane.

      I was also on 2 HOA boards but quit after the frustration of no action. How about the 2 Woodland Blvd Trash homes that do car repair? Note the rotation of 6 to 8 different cars each few days…

      Enough for now….much more to follow..

  2. I can’t disagree more with the spirit of the article. On one hand this is not the same as conducting business in a house, this is renting their property in the way that they see fit. I doubt this would be considered “illegal” in the court of law and as a neighbor I have nothing against it. Rental for three days still makes the property “residential” if no one is conducting business at the house in a way that means clientele visiting such house.

    On the other hand, the statement about “Neighbors have no idea who is staying at the house next door and the vacation renters have no knowledge of neighborhood rules and regulations. Nor do they care, as they will be leaving in a few days to go to back to their own homes.” it is somewhat untrue. As someone that travels often and most of the time prefers to rent a nice apartment instead of a hotel, I know that good owners make you aware of the rules and regulations. We actually just spent some days in Canada where we rent a loft and we were aware (and comply with) of all the regulations –from when to take out the garbage to where to park. Before that we rent an apartment in Greece and the same applied there.

    About who they are, none of these houses will be rent on the cheap and we are not in South Beach so chances are you will get middle age people interested in having a good home for the days they will stay and make a good impression so they can come back next year.

    I understand that the website gains by generating discord (therefore visits to the website and comments) but this really goes a little too far.

    If I ever have a bad neighbor, short term renter or not, I would bring it up to the owner of the house but I would not be against this type of renting that actually puts the Woodlands in the map as a good place to be. I live in Caribbean Pine and I actually met one very nice couple staying here for some time, they not only like it but they seem happy to have found a place where they could also bring their dog and “feel at home”.

    The statement about “They’ve even gone as far as to create websites to promote them…” also shows how little of the world you seem to know. The websites itself exist since a long time ago, since the ability to promote and rent short time became more common via the web. They are not creating websites, just using the existing sites to post their houses; and let me tell you this option exists also for mansions and million dollar homes. Visit flipkey, homeadvisor or any of those and take a look.

    There is a part of me that wants this website to do well because it is another means of communication for the neighborhood but each time I see this low type gossiping, with articles that misinform the reader, I feel that we should be represented by something better.

  3. What about the gold house on Woodlands Blvd.? That seems to be short term rental too.

  4. @ SBCR I used to live next to one of these short term rentals and I had some very bad experience with them being rented to spring breakers. Late night parties, people yelling racing engines and horn honking in the middle of the night during the week as well as numerous visits from the police. I understand that most renters are respectful, however some are not. I should have called the owner of the house to come pick up all the beer bottles thrown in my yard and in the canal, but I didn’t. Took care of it myself.

    I have since moved to another part of the Woodlands and I am very glad that I no longer live near a short term rental property.

  5. Since John Toranto and SBCR seem to think that short term rentals is such a good idea here in the Woodlands I would be happy to bring up at the next WHOA meeting a motion that specifically designates the homes on both sides of them a short term rental property zone and they can personally deal with whatever comes their way. Like Chris above states, would you guys be happy to have spring breakers stay next door and have wild late night high noise level parties? Once that long weekend is over the home is ready for the next batch to rent, so even if you complained to the owner, their rental guests will be gone probably never to return, so do you think they would really care if you who lives next door is upset? They got their fee. A long term renter has a lease and abides by the rules, a short term renter may be given rules, but have little incentive to abide by them if they are only their for a very short time, but John and SBCR you are welcome to take the chances not me. If I Wanted to live next to a motel, hotel, or guest house I would move near them.

  6. The rule “no trade, business, profession, or any type of commercial activity shall be carried out upon any of our properties” was written long before there was an Internet. These rules were designed to keep commercial traffic out of the area. If they wanted no rentals or no short term rentals, that language would have been added specifically, as it is in many other associations. I believe Tamarac as a city also has rules as to whether a business can be located in a residentially zoned area, even though I have seem some very businesslike things going on, even on Woodlands Blvd. Not sure why the city doesn’t do something about obvious businesses.

    Unfortunately, the wording of the WHOA docs gives no real power to the ACC, it will be up to the individual section associations to adopt language that will allow some enforcement of the rules. When I was on the ACC, I was told that an application could either be “approved or not approved” It could be “disapproved” or “rejected”. If it wasn’t approved, and the homeowner didn’t care, they could make the modifications anyway, because the ACC and the main WHOA had no enforcement rights.

    This web site could be considered a business or profession, and yet it doesn’t require a physical office, either in or out of the Woodlands.

    I don’t want to live in a community governed by a bunch of “condo commandos”, but I do feel that very short term rentals will not be beneficial to the community. I will propose adding language to Sections Six’s bylaws to limit rentals to be three months minimum, when I take my position on the board next year. I don’t know if this will be retroactive to someone (or some company) who has been renting short term previously.

    The potential problem with short term rentals is that the company or person doing the administration may not be taking the same precautions that a long term rental agency should.

    If you have a neighbor causing a disturbance, be they owners or overnighters, call the police. That is what they are there for.

    • It could be “disapproved” or “rejected” should read:
      It could _not_ be “disapproved” or “rejected”.

  7. We appreciate John and SCBR who have demonstrated open-mindedness and clear thoughts on this matter. These neighbors exhibit community spirit that we believe exists in the vast majority of people in The Woodlands where we have chosen to be a part of and have invested both emotionally and financially. Not only as community residents, but members of the golf club, we have firmly planted our roots and continue to do so as we move towards retirement in the near future.

    It is disturbing that Mr. Frens deemed it appropriate to pass judgment, lodge a complaint and spread falsehoods that I would like to correct below. Had Mr. Frens chosen to get the facts he would have discovered that we have been in the Woodlands for over 3 years and are both working professionals and selective of who rents our property. We research guests and rent only once we receive signed contracts listing who will be staying in the property and acknowledging they will abide by rules and regulations. We hire local people to ensure our property is well maintained (our guests have consistently given us the highest ratings on Homeaway). We also pay 5% Broward taxes each month on all revenues from the property and file Federal taxes each year. In essence, we abide by legal requirements including The Woodlands Rules and Regulations and do not run a trade or business out of our property.

    Mr. Frens extracted information from the Homeaway site; the site requires we fill in fields such as minimum stay, but we generally rent for 2 weeks to several months at a time (we certainly do not rent rooms or rent by the night). The review Mr. Frens copied referring to a Thanksgiving vacation was in fact a 7-night stay by a doctor and his family. Our renters are generally professionals and their families; we do not rent to students or party groups. We are respectful of both our property and neighbors and make it a point to speak and approve of anyone who reserves.

    Mr. Frens has gone beyond just posting this notice on the website. The city of Tamarac is required to respond to complaints and we have been targeted and have received several compliance orders. We have received City Notices to wash our driveway, remove a garbage can from the side of the house (that was out of sight from the roadway), paint a small section of the facia board and trim a palm tree branch that was slightly overhanging onto the road. We find this disturbing although easily remedied and have complied. Yet there are homes in the Woodlands with decaying roof, garbage bins stored permanently outdoors, overgrowth and general disarray but most neighbors choose to “live and let live” rather than take part in attacking each other. This complaint with the City of Tamarac leaves us all open to constant monitoring and possible notices about any imperfection. If we do this to each other as neighbors we create a community of distrust and hyper vigilance rather than one of peace and harmony. As Woodlands property owners we value our neighbors and treat them with the respect and kindness that we also would appreciate.

    We will not be removing this post, as Mr. Frens mentions we might. We all need to be concerned that this type of complaint exposes all of us to the slightest infraction.

  8. Lucy your statements are very well written and sound very viable. I rent out my condominium apartment with a one year lease, no short term rentals are permitted in the building, and frankly I am very pleased with that rule. The tentant has to abide by all the rules of the condo as if they were the owners and if they do not, I (The owner) would be responsible for any infraction. Hoepfully everyone who rents their property as you do, are as diligent and concerned with the quality of ther renters they rent to. But in the real world we know that not everyone will do as you do and that is what worries many of the residents and myself who live in the Woodlands. Surely you can see our reservations about short term rentals. I think most of the condos by the beach can not rent for less than 3-6 months, allowing their neighbors who own and live in the apartment to feel more at ease.

    You mention homes with code violations, we are all subject to code enforcement and even if you see homes that are in “disarray”, they may have fines imposed against them. Code enforcement can be contacted, or the ACC president Patti Fox can be notified by you if it went unnoticed. Surely you see our concern about short term rentals, and the ones that don’t ( Some real estate agents who live here for example), are just in it for the money and don’t truly care about the community.

  9. First of all, I can’t see how renting a house overnight is any more of a business than renting it for six months or a year. The mechanics are the same. The home is listed somewhere and new tenants occupy it for the specified length of time. The only thing that varies is the length, and the frequency as the product of that length. As such, I have my doubts as to the legal argument Mr. Frens is making and can’t see how they will be successful unless the WHOA or individual section boards actually include language in the by-laws to prohibit short term leases.

    In full disclosure, I am SCBR’s husband, and appreciate most of the intelligent discourse taking place on this thread. @Michael, you are welcome to attempt your utterly unrealistic suggestion at the next WHOA meeting, in which I will in turn make the utterly fantastic suggestion that the properties adjacent to yours be designated to be placed in permanent foreclosure and bank ownership, as would be the case for some of these properties if they were not supported by short term rentals.

    I have had as many or more bad experiences with permanent residents as I’ve had with transitory ones. Fortunately, my experience in The Woodlands does not include any. I don’t believe that prohibiting short term rentals diminishes the chances that you will have a bad experience with a neighbor, and when you DO have that experience, there is some comfort in knowing that neighbor won’t be around for long. However, as my wife previously stated, we have met renters of the house on our street and have had nothing but positive experiences.

    I prefer to deal with ACTUAL issues rather than those I unreasonably fear might come to pass, and what I see here in the opposition to short term rentals is exactly that. Fear over what might be. Not what is actually happening. If I have a problem with a neighbor, I address it with that neighbor. If that doesn’t resolve it, I will escalate to the next level of authority until it is resolved. What I don’t do is pre-judge every situation based solely on my experience in ONE instance.

    Last I heard, this is STILL the United States of America, and we should promote individual freedom as long as that freedom doesn’t affect anyone else’s well being. As far as I’m concerned, my neighbor is free to do with his property as he/she sees fit as long as they respect the rights of those around them.

  10. Glenn your comment that we are afraid of something before it happens, therefore, we should perhaps let it happen first is kinda crazy also. There are zoning laws for corporate parks, strip malls, and businesses. They are built in specific areas and zones, as are residential areas that prohibit business and so forth. Would you like to live next door to a hotel that rents by the hour or one that rents by the night? You don’t have to allow something to happen in order to prohibit it later. Somethings are a given, and if you think short term rentals are the way to go in the Woodlands, then fine, but many disagree. If you attended the WHOA meeting on Monday (1/13/2014), then you would have heard the arguments against it. The length of time of rental does make a difference. If an over night or weekend renter causes a problem, they are gone before anything can be done about it, and the next door neighbor had to endure that weekend of horror. Is that fair? You should have opened a guest house or bed and breakfast in a zoned area and that would be that. You will see Glenn, that eventually the rules will be addressed and changed and short term rentals will not be allowed, but until that happens we have to just put up with it like a toenail fungus.

    • Micheal, intelligent discussion means that you discuss the issue AT HAND in a reasonable manner, not hyperbole. You are making unreasonable and hyperbolic comparisons. No one is opening a mini strip mall or rental by the hour next to your house, so I’m going to skip that argument altogether.

      By the same token, an UNREASONABLE fear is the fear of something that is not very likely to happen, or not more likely to happen under a given set of conditions. Again, I have had as many bad experiences with permanent neighbors as anything else. I am sure other people may feel differently, and each has their own reasons for how they feel, reasonable or not.

      There is always the possibility of getting horrible renters for a weekend. If that is the case, penalize the owner of THAT property, in such a way as to prompt them to screen their tenants and make them adhere to community norms, instead of ALL homeowners who rent responsibly.

      If the community decides to change the rules, then so be it, but I serve on my section HOA board, and I will vote against a prohibition unless there is REAL evidence of the fear you harbor. In the meantime, I will put up with unreasonable fear like a toenail fungus.

  11. Glenn there are reason why the luxury buildings and condos by the beach do not allow short term rentals, usually only rentals that are three to six months and no less. They want to retain a certain class and distinction of not being like some flee bag one night stand hotel. So here in the Woodlands, myself and many feel the same way. You should live by one of those type of hotels and see what goes on and then come to me and say that weekend rentals are fine. The reason you like the idea of thees short term rentals is because you are making fast money and not thinking about the integrity of the Woodlands. You see how difficult it is to get any where with those who violate the rules around here. Even Michelle Gomez mentioned at the home owner’s meeting, how little power if any the WHOA has to combat these infractions. Perfect example of the famous house on Woodlands Blvd, that continues to violate the code enforecment rules. They know just how to play the system. So when you say make the landlord responsible, do you really think that we can control them? How will anyone know if they are screening their new tenants? What you mention is fine, but not realistic in the world we live in where so many are in it for the almighty buck.

  12. @Michael: you clearly don’t get it when someone has a (more informed) position that differs from yours. When you said “Since John Toranto and SBCR seem to think that short term rentals is such a good idea here in the Woodlands I would be happy to bring up at the next WHOA meeting a motion that specifically designates the homes on both sides of them a short term rental property zone and they can personally deal with whatever comes their way.” What your answer indicates is that you do not GET that I would be perfectly fine with that. Not that you can legally do that –but if you could, I would have NO OBJECTION because:

    1. In the past (somewhere else) I have had horrible neighbors that were actually owners. If I have a weekend or a week of horrible neighbors and after that they are gone, I am fine with that.

    2. As I said, none of these houses are rent on the cheap side (or for the day, I am sure they have a minimum stay of more than one night) and considering that we are not exactly situated in the middle of the night-life part of SoFla, the chances of attracting young party goers is really slim.

    3. As someone that when travels likes to rent I also know that owners can be very selective about who they rent their property to.

    4. Last but not least if I had a stream of bad short term neighbors, I can take it to the owners anyway, present my case and make sure they screen the potential guests better. Or, whenever a real problem arises, call the police.

    On the other hand, just to point out how much you assume about others without knowledge (what can also be called prejudice), when you tell Glenn that “The reason you like the idea of these short term rentals is because you are making fast money and not thinking about the integrity of the Woodlands…” you are (wrong again) assuming that he has an ulterior motive. Glenn is my husband, we are owners that live here and do not have any property in the Woodlands to rent. The only property we have is our own home.

    Finally when you said: “…there are reason why the luxury buildings and condos by the beach do not allow short term rentals, usually only rentals that are three to six months and no less.” let me inform you that I doubt those are legal but even if they are super luxury condos are being rent by the day from forever. You just have to know how to search for them (have you ever heard of https://www.asmallworld.com? I bet you have not… but there owners of very VERY high end places rent to their peers for days or weeks). And just a search of places to rent in Fort Lauderdale in FlipKey will show you how wrong you are with places like this one offered for short term rental: http://www.flipkey.com/fort-lauderdale-vacation-rentals/p680596/

    @CHRIS: when you say “I used to live next to one of these short term rentals and I had some very bad experience with them being rented to spring breakers. Late night parties, people yelling racing engines and horn honking in the middle of the night during the week as well as numerous visits from the police. I understand that most renters are respectful, however some are not. I should have called the owner of the house to come pick up all the beer bottles thrown in my yard and in the canal, but I didn’t. Took care of it myself.” I would like to know how many experiences you have like that but again, I do not see why not call the owners or the police. That is the normal/right thing to do.

    Let me make this clear: I am an owner and as such I want the neighborhood to maintain the level it has or to improve it and I am very interested in the neighborhood being a nice place to live.

    Now, I invite you to think out of your little box and consider this idea: if in this neighborhood ClubLink does not does well and the golf part becomes not profitable, THEN the neighborhood REALLY risks going down. Considering that ClubLink encourages people from other States or from Canada to come to play to the Woodlands it completes the circle that those same players can (if they want and can afford it) also rent a house in here for the weeks that they may come to play. So it may benefit ALL of us that these houses are being offered as short term rentals. Just think about it.

  13. @SCBR I will be gad to answer your question. Twice we had bad short term renters staying next to us. Neither time did I gave to call the police because the police were already called by others. Like you quoted me saying “numerous visits.” As far as I am concerned, that is twice too many. I no longer live at that property and I now live in an area of the Woodlands that does not have any short term rental properties in the surrounding area. I am thankful for that.

    I picked up the trash because I did not want to look at it nor did the marine life deserve to swim around it. The owners were well aware of the situation and all of the above mentioned, however, I didn’t receive any apology or assurance that that same situation would not happen again.

  14. The truth is that Glenn and SCBR are the unreasonable ones. Chris keeps trying to convey his very clear message and it is you two who are not understanding. For your information Mr.& Mrs. Blindeye, I have friends who live in luxury high rises by the beach and they have told me that short term rentals, less than 3-6 months is not allowed, you think I got that information from know it alls like you? Oh I get it you two, it’s your way or the highway, which is where you should both live. You say you care about this community, but on your terms only. I see you still have not come to the WHOA meetings to convey your thoughts, why afraid nobody will agree with you? You both talk a big game, with no rules, only the ones you see fit. Why should Chris have to pick up after a weekender? Maybe you should have to do that sometime and then see how you feel about. Oh and get the landlord in trouble, how are you going to manage that, tell them that they are being “unreasonable?” You are not familiar with the infamous house on Woodlands Blvd, they have been trying to stop him from years through code enforcement, the special magistrate, liens, etc., to no avail, but you are going to go to an owner and tell him to screen his renters or then call the police, what world are you living in? The truth is the WHOA and the city can do very little in these cases, so better to prevent it in the first place, that is what we are trying to tell you both. As far as Clublink is concerned, they require a years membership, to a Canadian, and they can only play on the course for six months, not a bad deal, I’ll give then your address and they can camp out on your lawn, very convenient.

    • Micheal, we both understand where Chris is coming from. Our opinion, based on our experience, is that his experience is the exception and not the rule and should be handled as such. The only one here expressing a “my way or the highway” attitude is YOU. The only one here making blanket assumptions, which are generally wrong, is YOU. The only here making hyperbolic comparisons not based in anyone’s reality is YOU. The only one here trying as hard as they can to make this personal is YOU.

      There is no point in continuing a discussion that is degrading into name calling, so I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. My personal opinion is that you won’t be successful, simply because current law does not support your position. In the meantime, I will do what I can to preserve this community, and everyone’s rights within it.

      Have a great day.

  15. I happen to be talking to a friend of a friend the other night, and the topic of short-term remtals came up. He has a place in Wynmore, and they allow short-term rentals, but with clear rules and time frames. First of all, an owner is only allowed to rent their property once in a year. The time frame is no less than 3 months, and once that 3 months is up, they can not rent again until the following year. The prospective tenants are subjected to an application that conducts back ground checks, eligibility (financially,) references, etc. This is conducted by their home owner’s board, and it is their determination if the party seeking to rent is accepted. The tenants are monitored to avoid infractions. This allows some control on who is allowed to move into their community. So you Glenn, and Lucy, if we had this in place here in the Woodlands, then this issue would be resolved to almost anyone’s approval, not the reckless free for all that you subsribe to.

  16. Michael, really, the unreasonable one making assumptions based on very little knowledge and a lot of fear is you. So you have friends “who live in luxury high rises by the beach”? That is not luxury, is still Florida. Let’s see real luxury: you want to rent a villa in Montecarlo or better still a Penthouse for some days…?Here http://www.vrbo.com/402863ha and here http://www.vrbo.com/280062. Maybe you rather go to the Hamptons…?here: http://luxury.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p224587

    This is not NEW, this is not a horrible thing done under the wraps by shady people trying to make a quick buck. This is new TO YOU, but this was done since forever, even before there was websites. Now has become more visible and you just noticed. And I bet no one is renting here for $100 the night.

    I rather have someone buying a property and maintaining it because they are renting it at a good price than having the property rotten away in the hands of a bank (or even in the hands of a neighbor that does not pay monthly fees in the sections where they can get away with it).

    You go ahead with your vote against it, I will go ahead with my vote allowing it. As you can see I am not saying I am FOR it, but I am for allowing it. Not that a vote is needed because there is no law against short term rentals and considering this is Florida, a place that would be a swamp if it wasn’t for the tourism, I doubt there will be any law against it.

    But as Glenn said, there is no point in arguing with someone who can’t really argue so goes instead for name calling.

    There is a saying in Spain: “El que no sabe es como el que no ve” (“The one without knowledge can’t see” would be a loose translation). You are blinded by your prejudice, your ignorance, and your fear. I’ll leave you to battle those horrible demons that you see in the dark, or in every corner or in every possible rental. Good luck.

  17. SBR, you are blinded by your greed, your selfishness, and your ignorance. How dare you say that I am prejudice, you know nothing about me. You choose to ignore Ben’s article above, giving you many examples of what has happened in the Woodlands, but you choose to ignore it or push it aside saying it had nothing to do with renting. It has everything to do with renting when there are little or no rules for these short term renters. I can only wish that you experience it first hand by having short term renting homes surrounding you, maybe then you will wake up and see how the majority of your neighbors feel about it. Did you attend the annual home owner’s meeting at the country club? If you did then you would have seen and heard the angry crowd that is against short term renters. What Ben has mentioned above are not “assumptions”, but facts. facts that your so called reasonable attitude seems to dismiss. Have a talk with Michelle Gomez and she can fill you in on how we are trying to change the law, she is an advocate for our cause, not yours…

  18. Michael, let’s analyze your assumptions:

    1. I am blinded by my greed: what greed? I do not rent a house in the Woodlands, the only house I own here is the one I live in. Now, if you call greed the fact that I prefer my house to be surrounded by houses that are maintained (because they are going to be rented and not in the cheap side) and not instead falling apart in foreclosure, I call that a different name. I call that caring for my neighborhood.

    2. Blinded by my selfishness: What is it for me on the rentals? Nothing. Again, I do not rent and you can look me up in the Broward county records this is the only house I own. SO I do not see where the selfishness comes in. Please explain.

    3. Blinded by my ignorance? : I know since I was a kid (before websites existed, BTW) that short term rental exists and not for little holes but for mansions too. You clearly didn’t know about that.

    Now to answer your diatribe:

    1. “How dare you say that I am prejudice, you know nothing about me.”
    I know enough. I know your opinion and your opinion includes the prejudice that short term rentals will be always occupied by the worst people. Prejudice.

    2. “You choose to ignore Ben’s article above, giving you many examples of what has happened in the Woodlands, but you choose to ignore it or push it aside saying it had nothing to do with renting. It has everything to do with renting when there are little or no rules for these short term renters. I can only wish that you experience it first hand by having short term renting homes surrounding you, maybe then you will wake up and see how the majority of your neighbors feel about it.”

    I did not ignore it. I am talking based on MY experience and guess what, funny enough, I am almost surrounded by short term rentals. One is my neighbor house, the other is two houses from mine. And I never have ONE complain about them.

    3. “Did you attend the annual home owner’s meeting at the country club? If you did then you would have seen and heard the angry crowd that is against short term renters. What Ben has mentioned above are not “assumptions”, but facts. facts that your so called reasonable attitude seems to dismiss. Have a talk with Michelle Gomez and she can fill you in on how we are trying to change the law, she is an advocate for our cause, not yours…”

    Yes, I did attend and I notice a group of people just awakening to the fact that this exists. I find it sad and funny at the same time, what can I say? Because when I say that the people renting around me were never a problem I am also stating a fact.

    Some people are always afraid of the dark even when they live in the dark. This has existed since forever (many years ago this was done by people telling people) but you lived in the dark about it. Now, that you just awake, you feel this is a “change” that you do not want. That’s fine, it’s your vote. MY vote is that I am ok with it because of what I know, that to make it as short as possible, is this:

    a. I know I prefer a house maintained because there is an economic reason for that, that one with blue tarp on the roof, broken trees and abandoned. The first one is better for the neighborhood than the latter.

    b. I know that Tamarac is not Miami, not even Ft Lauderdale. Kids in their 20s do not have the means to pay for one of these houses on short rentals and the ones that may have the means, DO NOT WANT to be in golf, far from the beach, surrounded by people in their 50s. Know your place. This is not Miami Beach or Montecarlo.

    c. I have travel to more countries that you probably know exist, and while in most cases I have stayed in hotels, I have also rented short term in some very high end neighborhoods. You know how this happened 20 years ago? You asked someone that travel as much as you do, and that is how you knew of places to rent. No signs, no websites, mouth to mouth. What takes me to the last point…

    d. I know that you can make it illegal, but I also know that it is tremendously expensive and difficult to ENFORCE IT. How will you know who is renting and who is loaning the house to their cousins? How would you prove it was 2 months instead of 3? Passing something like that and trying to enforce it will mean a waste of money that the community could spend on something better.

    I know there are people trying to change the law; once again, I am probably more informed that you are. I do not care who is on who’s side. I do not need to talk with this person or that person. I have my own experience and my common sense. So you go ahead vote against it, I will vote for it. I bet that if your wish become law, 10 or 20 years from now there is going to be a movement to strike it down because it will be impossible/expensive to enforce and the city will be suffering economically. But in your selfishness you do not care about the neighborhood or the city, you care about the possibility that one short term rental may go bad and you may have one night of loud music, because let’s face it is all about you. Who were you calling selfish, by the way?

    I, personally, have nothing to gain or to lose one way or the other. I just don’t like prejudice and ignorance…; and I may not know you, but you have shown both clearly through your “informed” position and your name calling to whoever thinks differently.

    Again, good luck with your demons. I am sure that the short term renters are just some of them.

  19. Name calling, I think you have done share of name calling in your articles, not only myself but what about Doug? Don’t be sure of my Demons, you may come to applaud them because myself and others are trying to maintain this place and aspire to better, not knowing our place as you put it. Don’t worry nobody would ever confuse this side of town with Miami or Fort Lauderdale, no chance of that happening. The experiences by others here who oppose your way of thinking seemd to be dismissed becasue it has not happened to you yet, but trust me you will get your turn. I don’t have to jump off a cliff to know what happens after I do. Ignorance can be presented in numerous ways, you ignoring some of the horror stories written above is just one form of it. The city is going to suffer econimically because we will not allow short term rentals? Are you for real? Do other cities that have developments and condos that do not allow short term rentals suffer? The rule of thought is not to allow short term rentals becasue they lower the values not the other way around as you would have us believe. Short term rentals is the exception, not the accepted rule. If it were then luxury building and high class communities would allow it, it is nothing to be proud of allowing this. Where do you get this delusion from? You make it sound like we should be glad we have short term rentals, you got it backwards. Don;t make us sound like we are the crazy ones, it is your thinking that is hurting us, not increasing our values. You need to hear yourself.

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