Lake and Marina “Neighbor” Rants:

Vikingstaff

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This thread is an extension of my recent “Boat Security When Away” post. In it, I mention that the lakeside cottage next to us sold a month ago. It had been previously remodeled by a wonderful retired couple that due to health problems had to let it go. Due to its decently high asking price (remodeled, 98’ frontage, big yard, lakefront), we never imagined it becoming a rental. Sold one month ago to a Florida family that got it as an investment property. It’s now a VRBO rental.

I was worried, but tried to keep an open mind. Not like it’s my property or that I have any say in it anyway. However, with the first four renters, there were already a number of red flags. Now I have security camera’s up, and my concern is peaked due to:

(1) 3 of 4 renters either tried to use, or asked me about using, the other adjacent neighbors dock. The dock at the rental is shorter, and in shallow water. EVERY V-hull renter (3 of 4 so far) wanted to tie up at the neighbors dock on the other side that goes out 180’ to slightly deeper water. Since I was up each time, and the neighboring property owner wasn’t, I politely let the renters know “That dock doesn’t go with your rental. You need to move your boat.” That makes the renters ‘big fans’ of you for the week...sigh. Really puts me and my neighbor in a difficult position.

(2) 1 of 4 just put there boat trailer across the street on someone else’s property. It is a property with a storage garage only as an elderly couple further down on our street owns it for seasonal storage at their lakefront cottage. However, since the owners don’t live at their cottage to police it, 1 of 4 renters saw it as simple spill over space.

(3) One weekend was a group of 12 people up for a 21st birthday party. Apparently the girls dad rented the place for them. They were nice, and frankly not disruptive. However, they took liberty docking their wake boat at my neighbors dock. When docking I watched them literally hang on to his thin PVC flag pole while pulling in the boat (see pic). When I spoke to them politely, they initially want to discuss docking their boat there - “you don’t think the owner will mind do you”...”its just for the weekend”...”we’ll be careful”...etc. They were nice enough otherwise and once I told them the owner has already stated he doesn’t want anyone he doesn’t know tying off at his dock, they simply moored the boat off shore for the remainder of their stay.

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(4) Same group above, 4 vehicles with this group. Between rental cottages available 2 car garage and decently sized “L” shaped driveway, you could get all 4 vehicles on property. Instead, their entire stay, 1 car was in driveway, other 3 in the road. Not partially in the road and partially in yard, but 100% in road, 3 cars entirely blocking one lane. 2 cars fit in front of rental property, but due to one having a long boat trailer, other cars were being parked in front of cottages where people were not up that weekend. They initially parked in front of our cottage, but I asked them to relocate to the rental cottage driveway. They instead moved to the road in front of the cottage on the other side of the rental cottage whose dock they initially tried to use.

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(5) Owners of rental cottage had a very large tree pine taken down on their side of our shared property line during the above 21st birthday group’s stay. Since the above group was parked in road, and I had them move from being in front of our cottage, the tree cutters parked their two trucks and trailers in front of our cottage. When I went out to go to the store, I noticed the tree cutters parked totally blocking our parking pad/driveway. They then set up their huge chipper 3’ in front of my Escalade and my wife’s Lincoln, and were hauling the limbs across our yard and chipping everything on our parking pad. Needless to say chips were flying out as normal all over our stuff. That got shut down fast by me! At which point I told them to relocate any and all equipment currently on or in front of my property. I suggested they speak to the renters staying at the worksite to accommodate them and their equipment.

(6) 2 of 4 renters have nearly HIT our boat multiple times trying to walk their boat out to deeper water during rougher wind and waves. My dock is 12’ onto my property. Neighbor/renters dock is 10’ over onto their property. 22’ between them. I likely will need to totally rethink our dock configuration and placement due to the lack of responsible boat use half the renters have already demonstrated in a short period of time. This is the main concern that has led me to installing a security system and cameras.

So, that is just four weeks of this place being a rental. IF you rent your cottage, that’s your business. However, realize that no matter what safeguards you have and what “guidelines” you leave for your renter, unless you are nearby and can check in, they are going to do whatever enters into their occasionally inconsiderate mind.

In our case, the NEW owners have a very nice cottage, very responsible and thoughtful online rental posting (no parties, groups 8 or less only, good stewardship directions, etc.), but that doesn’t matter once the “renters” show up. In all cases, renters have been nice and respectful when speaking to them. However, in 3/4 of the renters so far, there have been red flags and concerns.

Finally, this is all making me feel like that proverbial “grumpy old man next door”, instead of a 49 year old cottage owner just looking for some peace and relaxation lakeside in the summer.
 
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sjhorner9475

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Jeff I hear your concerns. The VRBO industry is a boom to property owners but a problem for their neighbors. We live in the Nashville area which has a massive VRBO footprint. The city council put significant new restrictions in place recently due to the burden placed on police being called out to address issues at the VRBO residence.

We have had some similar issues with our lake property. Ours is a condo which does give us the benefit of a condo association to address the issues with the owner and the ability to fine the owner if necessary.

Hey even if you are a "grumpy old man next door" (although 49 is far from old), you have the right to peace and relaxation lakeside and even more so, respect for your property that you have worked hard to attain. I hope the situation improves for you.
 
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TomS

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Jeff, this makes me crazy too. We live on a very short, private, dead end street leads directly to the Gulf of Mexico, one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere. We have terrific beach access on a deeded private path just for the 10 or so homes here, and we paid dearly for it. Most homes on the street are seasonal rentals, very pricy in season, due to prime location. The city ordinance requires all single family home rentals to be at least 1 month, and several on the street are indeed 3 months or more during season, repeat renters, very good citizens. Unfortunately, the others have taken to VRBO like you know what, completely illegal, literally renting by the night like a darn hotel, but with no oversight. The majority of these renters are partiers, noisy, disrespectful of people here and the environment, it's bordering on ridiculous. Just this afternoon, there were 6 cars parked at the rental across from us when we arrived home, in the yard, under the house, in the drive. As far as I know, NONE of them are even renting there, at least not overnight. No idea where they came from. They certainly helped themselves to our beach access, when there is a fantastic public beach with ample pay parking just 1 street over.

Yes, I am THAT grumpy old man for real (63) ... so don't feel bad.
 

lakeliving

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That sucks Jeff. Have you met the owners yet? Damn people in FL!

I would have a fit if someone tied up to my dock. The last thing I want is someone slipping and getting hurt and I'm on the hook for injuries/damages. I'd get some no trespassing signs up ASAP so it is very clear your property is not to be accessed. Same with the other neighbor. A chain link fence might help as well.

The houses circled in red are all VRBO in our direct vicinity. Ours is the one in circled in blue. The guy we bought it from lived in California and rented out. The neighbors were so happy we moved in and stopped all the noise etc. Down here some folks get 5-8K a month so it's not going to end anytime soon. And our association has no rules on it so....

And another big thing down here is to rent your extra dock space so people will literally jamb as many boats behind their place as possible. It's insane.

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Vikingstaff

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That sucks Jeff. Have you met the owners yet?...The last thing I want is someone slipping and getting hurt and I'm on the hook for injuries/damages. I'd get some no trespassing signs up ASAP so it is very clear your property is not to be accessed. Same with the other neighbor. A chain link fence might help as well.
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Man, it was painful looking at your picture of TWO nearby VRBO’s. Yikes! I can appreciate how happy your neighbors were when you bought it. :)

I literally met the owner once and we spoke for 15 minutes when I was leaving to go home the day we got our boat in the water for the season. That’s when I found out about it being a rental. They seemed nice enough at the time, and I did share then my initial concern about it being a rental. At the same time, I didn’t want to over do it on the front end with the new owner the first time meeting them. They will be up in about a week to stay in it themselves for a family vacation. Hopefully I can have a nice conversation with them about the concerns that have popped up so far. At least when I met him briefly the first time, he seemed tuned in to wanting to insure it was not a problem property for the rest of us. So there is hope.

The slipping on the dock liability is one of the main items I’ve reminded the 3 out of 4 renters that I spoke with regarding the issue. They seemed to get it. The owner on the other side of the rental and myself have chatted about how to try to protect ourselves. We both have cameras in now. We also exchanged phone numbers and will keep an eye on each other’s property when one another is away.

Fortunately for my wife and I, the home owner on the other side of us is a retired couple that have lived in HL their entire lives - most of it in their current home. We’ve become really good friends, and I know he will speak to ANYONE that ventures onto our property or dock.

We cannot do any kind fencing past something like the roadside corners of our home. I forget the details, but local ordinances prevent running fences or newly planted vegetation down the property line for lakefront owners. No trespassing/private property signs are permitted, and those may go up if I get any camera notifications.

My main concern at this point is boneheads hitting our boat/dock due to carelessness with their own boats in windy/waves conditions. It’s almost happened a few times, so that is certainly the main red flag for me. For the person on the other side of the rental, its clearly the dock and trespassing.
 

Tomc

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Thanks for starting this post Jeff. Sorry to hear of the BS you’re putting up with only 4 weeks in. My place up north is on a private drive (15 houses) but no association and no local rules. So anyone can sell to anyone (that’s how I got in 7 years ago). And anyone can do anything they want with their property (within township rules). Lucky for us everyone on the lakeside keeps their place to themselves. One rental on the other side of the street, but no water access, so when it is rented, they are out doing tourist things.

But your post will cause me to create a real association and work to keep things as they are. I would have never thought of it before it hit me like it’s hitting you.

So thanks for that.

So your mission, should you decide to accept it, it to really be that grumpy old man a-hole that makes the vacationers’ lives miserable. Early morning fireworks and lawn mowing and trimming. Made up rules on parking, and sit in your yard video taping them in plain sight at all hours. I’m sure this forum could be even more creative in helping you do some fun stuff. Enough “crazy old man” reviews, and the rental business will sizzle out.
 

lakeliving

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The sad thing is that it’s not 1 in 10 are A holes. It’s the 8 out of 10 that are A holes and give the industry a bad name.
 

Michiman

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Yikes! Sorry to hear about the rental stories described above. I can certainly understand the frustration that clueless short-term renters would bring to your life. Personally, I'd become an expert in local ordinances and have the appropriate officials on speed dial. Hang in there...
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Also maybe a friendly warning letter to your rental neighbor, pointing out that any damages incurred on your property will be their responsibility, so it would be in their best interest to be very selective in who they rent to, and very strict in enforcing rental rules and policies, They could make renters aware that that residents complaints warrant immediate termination of rental agreement and forfeiture of any security deposit. This should thin out the a**holes ....
 

BigKahuna

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Don't desk with the renters directly. Call the management company and voice your concerns.....
 

Vikingstaff

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Don't desk with the renters directly. Call the management company and voice your concerns.....

Yup. That’d be the owners. They are using VRBO to directly rent/manage the cottage. They’ll be who we speak with directly next week. To the best of my knowledge, they are scheduled to be up and stay in it themselves at that time.
 

Tin Diesel

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Perhaps there's a nice way to suggest that they build a bigger and better dock?

This morning I saw an interesting quote, something like this: "If somebody gets mad at you for setting a boundary, perhaps that is proof that the boundary was necessary".
 

lakeliving

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I'd say "Did (other neighbor's name) talk to you yet about the issues he's had with the renters tying their boats to his dock without permission?"

This way he knows it's causing issues on both sides.
 

Vikingstaff

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I'd say "Did (other neighbor's name) talk to you yet about the issues he's had with the renters tying their boats to his dock without permission?"

This way he knows it's causing issues on both sides.

Smart thinking, and a very legitimate way to begin the conversation. Thank you for the idea.
 

Vikingstaff

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Several of the homeowners associations on our lake have changed the rules against renting out properties for all of the reasons you posted.

No homeowner’s association in our area of private property homes. I’m president of our actual homes HOA downstate, and we too bar any sort of rental situation. One of the instances when an HOA is nice vs. some instances when they are a nuisance. ;)
 

Chris A

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Yeh, that would be frustrating! From a VRBO and AirBnB renter's perspective, they need to know the rules to rent that property! That's on the homeowner to state very clearly that there are noise rules, docking rules, etc at that property and the first instance of rule-breaking gets you evicted. It would be very easy for the owners to put that in writing. Maybe you could get a copy of those rules too....or volunteer to be his on-scene manager (not that I'd want that role).
 

lakeliving

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So here is a little renter karma for the group. Saturday night I hear a motorcycle rip by our house so fast I couldn’t even tell which way it was going. A few minutes later there are a bunch of flashing lights from police to ems and fire from the end of the road. I take a walk down there to find the biker who was traveling probably 80 in a 25 didn’t anticipate the slight curve and put his bike in the ditch after laying it down. He’s ok but they had to tow it out of the mucky ditch. They towed the bike by our house and the next day we went looking for the truck. Sure enough...out of state plates at a rental house. EED4DFE2-B3B2-4A07-8EB7-6C50EAD56A01.jpegD25EED2D-2833-4023-AF12-A8EA0622E4B0.jpeg
 
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