By: Elaine S. Povich
Just a couple of days after a rowdy house party at a short-term rental property ended in gunfire in a residential neighborhood in Rocklin, California, near Sacramento, Erin Youman, a neighbor, approached the City Council at its regular meeting.
Shyly, she went to the podium.
“I’m concerned about the welfare of our families on Grove [Street], especially after what happened over the weekend. What’s the plan?” she asked. “Can we have something stricter? I know it’s an Airbnb and people have their right to make money, but is there something we can do to make the environment a little more regulated? My family’s home is directly across the street from the Airbnb. We’re a little concerned.”
Oh, yes, responded Republican Mayor Joe Patterson, who said he had asked his staff to come up with some new rules in the next month or so. “We’re all shaken by the incident that happened over there,” he said.
Patterson was referring to the fracas in the wee hours of the morning, in which two people were shot and the alleged perpetrators sped off in a car, only to make an abrupt U-turn and fire more shots at the home on the way back, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Youman’s father, who owns two homes in the neighborhood that his grown children live in, said parties occasionally occur at nearby short-term rental homes. After the shooting, he sent a message on the Airbnb app to the owner of the Grove Street property. She said she would get back to him, but didn’t.
“It bothers me that it’s in a residential area not 100 yards from an elementary school where my grandsons go,” he said, adding that anyone could rent the home, including sex offenders and drug traffickers.
He thinks the city should have tighter rules, especially since there’s a big homeless problem in California and the short-term rentals keep properties off the long-term rental market.
Patterson and the city of Rocklin are not alone.
A number of violent incidents have been reported at short-term rentals around the country. Just this month, a shooting at a graduation party in Pittsburgh left two dead and one injured. Neighbors told WPXI news that the home is rented out regularly on Airbnb.
You can find the rest of the Pew article here.