Proptech

Local governments can now put a lid on short-term rental noise complaints

While short-term rentals can be a lucrative investment for property owners, with less vetting to actually rent out these homes, there is greater potential for property damage, stolen goods and hefty fees via noise complaints. 

To mitigate the risk of an unruly guest, GovOS, a digital solutions provider for local governments, is partnering with noise monitoring proptech NoiseAware to quell communities’ noise complaints before they get out of hand.

NoiseAware’s tech utilizes a sensor that plugs into a property’s outlet, connects to the Wi-Fi and is fairly discreet looking – similar to that of a smoke detector. The device connects to an app controlled through the user’s phone and uses an algorithm that can distinguish a truly “risky” situation from merely a loud noise.

Their sensors are also incapable of actually recording any audio, an important factor in terms of privacy rights for guests. If the noise does get out of hand, the current host of the rental will get a message that warns them of a noise complaint and asks the tenants to keep the noise to a reasonable level.

Through the partnership, local governments using the GovOS Short-Term Rental (STR) solution for community monitoring can offer property owners discounted rates on NoiseAware’s tech the first time a property owner receives a noise disturbance.

GovOS launched its STR’s platform as a means of helping local governments get a handle on the community and economic impacts STR’s create. The program offers features like compliance, registration, tax collection and a 24/7 complaint hotline to ensure property owners are on track with local ordinances.

“It’s important that local governments underscore that they want to work together with short-term rentals,” said Kevin Lafeber, President, GovOS.

Popularized by the likes of AirBnB, HomeAway and Vrbo, local governments have more recently begun to crack down on the scale and scope of the rental options.

Washoe County, Nevada, the county seat of Reno, passed a city ordinance in 2021 after dozens of complaints were filed regarding STR’s operating without authorization, loud noises and illegal parking. The county last year accepted applications for STRs and to date received more than 640 applications.

Austin, TX, one of the fastest growing cities in the US, also has one of the oldest and most restrictive STR laws in the state. Along with requiring STR’s to obtain city licenses, it prohibits unlicensed short-term rentals from advertising, with fines of up to $2,000 per day for violations.

“As the demand for short-term rentals comes roaring back, we applaud the efforts of local governments to encourage growth in their communities in a mindful way,” said NoiseAware  CEO Andrew Schulz.

“GovOS’ solution gives local governments more flexibility when working with these properties, and this partnership goes a step further to enable responsible renting,” Schulz added.

Similar technology exists in practice like Party Squasher, a startup whose tech can actually monitor the number of devices connected to your wireless network. For Party Squasher, you set the number of allowable devices based on your occupancy.

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