The oceanside community of Lozano Beach is debating whether to allow homeowners to rent out their homes on a weekly basis during the summer. Such rentals produce high incomes for the owners and the city, which gets part of this income through a 15-percent surcharge to the owner. "This can be a boon to our coffers," said Rick Brown, city manager. "In the summer, homeowners can bring in $2,000 a week or more."
However, these rentals can also be a can of worms. The city stopped allowing weekly rentals 10 years ago because of the problems they were generating. Two, three, or even four families would pile into a two- or three-bedroom house. Then they would park their cars on the lawn and produce huge amounts of trash. Sometimes they would toss this trash on the streets and sidewalks.
Noise would be another problem. Some people would party late and loud every night. This abuse created a lot of friction with neighbors and resulted in extra work for city maintenance crews and for police, who had to respond almost hourly to residents' complaints about noise, music, trash, and parking problems. But now, the city's budget problems are making it reconsider its ban.
City officials will hold a community meeting next week to listen to the pros and cons. One official has already suggested a proposal. He thinks that a fine might work. If the city has to respond to complaints, the homeowner will be charged $200 per response. Such a fine might cause the homeowner to be careful to rent only to people that he is sure will be considerate of the neighbors. The city would still get 15 percent of the rental fee, even if the homeowner's rent were totally offset by fines. The city would post inconsiderate renters' names on the city website so that other homeowners would know about them.
Some officials think the ban should be continued because these visitors to the community have already proven that they have no consideration for others. Their money isn't worth the headaches they cause.