Buying new home? Beware vacation rentals



Editor, Index-Tribune:

Seven years ago, when we purchased our beautiful home in the hills of Agua Caliente, we never dreamed that the serenity, peace and quiet would be interrupted with a vacation rental inserted into this space, basically right in our backyard.

When we moved in, there was a lovely, quiet family that lived there, and that was a huge part of the appeal for us.

The new owners swear they sent out notices of their intent, but we know we never saw any such type of notice. Not that it would matter, because according to Sonoma County guidelines, they are well within their rights to establish this sort of rental, as long as they are within a specific zone, have the necessary licenses and adhere to very minimal rules and regulations.

So here we are – we have to deal with the constant shuffle of different tenants every two to three days, they sit out on the deck that basically overlooks our backyard and, after spending the day probably wine-tasting and whatever, they’re loud, obnoxious and just super inconsiderate of the fact that we are not on vacation. We work, have small children trying to nap or sleep, or just would like to enjoy our decks and backyards in peace and quiet, as they (the vacation rental clients) probably do when they go home. We have truly lost our private haven for the sake of commerce in Sonoma.

I’m not giving up – there has to be something that can be done about the vacation rental takeover. On a another note, and something anyone considering selling their home might want to consider, we had to take our home off the market once prospective buyers realized we had a vacation rental behind us. The lesson is disclose, disclose, disclose. No one is excited about buying a home with the constant in and out traffic, noise, parking problems, and so forth, so keep that in mind when you’re looking to purchase. And ask, could my beautiful new home become the neighbor to a vacation rental owner?

Jaime Giacomini

Agua Caliente

  • Phineas Worthington

    When my neighbors are loud, I walk over and ask them to tone it down. Its worked almost every time. In my experience, most people will respond positively to a polite request.

    • Celeste Winders

      Yeah but do you want to do that every 2-3 days with different people? It’s irritating and it is getting a bit out of hand. I’m all for creating unique travel experiences but when it encroaches on the residents quality of life on a regular basis it’s not okay.

      • Phineas Worthington

        I empathize with the problem. People who just visit are not invested in the peace and calm of the neighborhood, I get that. Though I think there is a general decline in manners and decorum.

        I know that bad renters can be a nightmare whether short term or long term. I know of one situation where all the neighbors had to sue the owner of a property to evict a tenant, a regular renter. I myself had to sell my own house because of a hostile neighbor. We’ve all got stories I am sure.

        The owners will have to be held accountable for the tenants somehow. What that looks like is precisely the conversation we’re having.