Villagers speak out about the growing problem of Airbnb
In recent times, the idyllic retirement community of The Villages has been grappling with an increasingly worrisome issue: the surge in short-term Airbnb rentals. As the number of such rentals multiplies, residents are voicing their frustration over the lack of action from the government or the Developer to address the problem. The peaceful and beautiful lifestyle that attracted residents to this senior community is now being threatened, leading many to call for a halt to the proliferation of short-term rentals.
Residents Speak Out: Barbara Soyak, a resident of the Village of Dunedin, firmly believes that short-term Airbnb rentals are not appropriate for their community. Seeking a quiet and serene lifestyle, residents like her feel that such rentals do not align with their vision for The Villages and should be stopped.
Jim Manna echoes these sentiments, emphasizing that The Villages is not meant to be a rental community. The lack of ownership can often lead to a disregard for community rules and a lower level of respect for neighbors. Instead, he suggests that real estate investors should opt for longer-term rentals, lasting at least a month.
Keith Boehler raises concerns about how Airbnb guests are accessing amenities such as pools and pickleball courts, frequently advertised as perks for short-term rentals. He questions whether rental fees include guest passes, and if so, how renters are utilizing these amenities without the presence of the rental owner. The lack of regular checks on residents and renters alike adds to the uncertainty surrounding the issue.
Preserving The Villages’ Charm: Linda Lawless draws attention to the discrepancy between the attractiveness of The Villages as a top-notch retirement community and the increasing presence of Airbnb rentals. Designed for 55 and over residents, the community was meant to be an exclusive haven with amenities reserved for residents and their guests. The influx of short-term renters who may not respect the property poses a threat to the community’s unique charm.
As The Villages struggles with the mounting problem of short-term Airbnb rentals, residents are expressing their deep concern about the potential impact on their cherished community. The lack of government intervention or acknowledgment of the issue has left many feeling frustrated and uneasy. The Villages’ residents are passionate about preserving the quiet and serene lifestyle they sought, and they are calling for measures to control and potentially end the proliferation of Airbnb rentals. As this topic continues to gain attention, the community will undoubtedly strive to find a balanced solution that upholds the core values and charm of The Villages.