Regulating Lake Cabin Rentals

How do vacation rental cabins impact you?

Becoming ever more common in the lakes area, cabin vacation rentals by owners (VRBO for example) may be a good opportunity for a cabin owner or vacationer, but neighboring owners on the lake are oftentimes adversely affected and disturbed by the constant turnover in renters in what had previously been quiet residential areas.  As a Lake Carlos resident put it, “Every Saturday afternoon is a new arrival of dogs, jet skis, boats, beer, and vacationers ready to party for a week.  With this cycle repeating weekly.”

The impact on property values is a double-edged sword; the value of neighboring properties can be adversely impacted, while the value of the rental property may be enhanced by rental income.

This pattern is especially problematic when the owner of the rental property does not live locally and there is no monitoring of activity, or in the case of properties that can be rented to large groups.  We have properties on Lake Carlos that advertise that they can sleep 16.

In June, 2017 the County Board asked the Director of Public works Dave Rush to form a group made up of a diverse group of citizens to discuss the situation and make recommendations.  The group met several times and made recommendations.  At the County Board meeting on August 1st the County Board reviewed the recommendations and directed Mr. Rush to make specific recommendations for licensing and administration of short-term vacation rentals for 2018.

There were six basic areas of recommendations:

  • Basic standards for safety and other issues for licensing purposes
  • Definition of vacation home rentals (currently not defined in ordinances)
  • Minimum health and safety standards
  • Nuisance issues such as noise, parking, etc.
  • Rental management standards such as rules, communication with neighbors
  • Holding owners responsible for guest conduct

LCAA will continue to participate in the process and monitor progress.

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