Don't Take Away Homeowner's Rights

Erikka Perkins •

To the editor: For years now I have watched the opinions fly about the short-term rental debate. I watched from the sidelines because I do have a dog in this fight. That said, I also have a lot of experience with the facts surrounding this issue. I am the rental manager for a local real estate company. I have worked in Nantucket real estate in some form or fashion for nearly 20 years. During that time, I have met and/or corresponded with hundreds of homeowners who rent their homes for varying degrees of time. All of them are people. They are people who love Nantucket. In nearly 20 years I’ve never had a conversation with a homeowner who wasn’t emotionally invested in the island and what happens here. Whatever the reason they rent, they chose to own a home on Nantucket because they want to be here.

Some people are able to spend the whole summer on island and rent for a couple of weeks in the shoulder season to help pay the taxes. Some people rent for the whole summer and spend the rest of the year on island. Some people can only be here for one week per year, but they have a long-term goal of retiring on island someday. Some people have inherited family homes and need to rent in order to be able to afford to keep their homes. The reasons why and how people rent are as varied as the people themselves.

My husband and I struggled to be able to afford a home on the island so I understand why opponents of vacation rentals chose to use the availability of affordable housing as a scare tactic, but the vacation rental market and the year-round housing market overlap in very few areas. Limiting vacation rentals will only stunt the economy and income for many year-round residents.

When I took my real estate course, they taught us about the Bundle of Rights which comes with homeownership. These include the right of possession, the right of control, the right of exclusion, the right of enjoyment, and the right of disposition. When voting at Town Meeting this year, please consider the people behind the issue. Don’t take away a homeowners rights.

Erikka Perkins

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current Opinion