Homeowners have publicly grumbled about excessive noise, parking violations and mounting trash as a result of their neighbors operating short-term rental properties via websites like AirBnb and Homeaway. Some even say they are doing so without the proper city permits.
To address those concerns, the city has now hired a call center operated 24/7 by a company in San Francisco. An online portal has also been created.
If past public meetings are any indication, there may be a lot of calls coming in. Stephanie Borek lives in Green Hills next to a rental where the owner doesn’t live on site.
"We’ve been barraged by large groups of people, excessive traffic, noise at all hours of the night,” Borek said at a public meeting in April. “It's no different than the hustle and bustle that you see outside of a hotel."
If Borek were to call this new number, she’d be asked to provide proof of the violation — which might come in the form of cell phone photos or video. Then, if the property is registered with the city, the call center can reach out to the owner to resolve the issue on the spot.
The complaint would then be saved to a database, allowing for more efficient tracking of problem properties and those operating without the necessary permits.
Currently, after three violations a property’s permit may be revoked. But until now, the Metro Codes Department has done very little active enforcement.
In a statement, Mayor Megan Barry said she also hopes the new service "will make it easier to identify and track down irresponsible property owners who are operating illegally or who fail to address the quality of life concerns for residents in the neighborhood."
To file a complaint, residents of Davidson County can call (435)-STR-HELP.