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.

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.

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