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Short-term rental in Lafayette in jeopardy

A petition from neighbors and an upcoming meeting could void a 2020 decision.
105 Poinsetta
Posted at 10:16 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 19:48:41-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Consolidated Government on Thursday will consider an appeal to a 2020 decision that allowed a house on Poinsetta Street to operate as a short-term rental, or Airbnb.

The couple bought the property on Poinsetta Street in 2015 and say they have increased the property value of the home and the whole street.

Now, there’s a petition going around the neighborhood that claims that residents are being “adversely affected” by the business.

With a 4.93/5 rating on the rental site and the majority of the reviews raving about their experience, Erin Bass, who owns the property with her husband Mike, says there isn’t an issue.

“We have not been doing anything illegal, we’re operating legally.” said Bass. “All of the 300 short-term rentals in town, we’re just not in the code at all.”

She says they have ever only received one complaint. A family was staying at their Airbnb and had a backyard barbecue and music playing. The neighbor right behind the property complained. Bass says they’re being scapegoated.

“That’s the only complaint we’ve ever received from a neighbor. We don’t have any police reports. We’ve checked all those things,” she said.

Bass says there has been no effort to communicate with them from others in the neighborhood.

“We’ve been threatened by the neighbor. He’s threatened to shut us down, turn the whole neighborhood against us. There have been no healthy discussions, unfortunately.”

KATC went to the neighbor's house to ask for comment, but nobody answered the door.

There will be a board of zoning adjustment meeting Thursday, where, according to the agenda, the board will consider a repeal the 2020 decision to grant a short-term rental to the house on Poinsetta Street.

Bass says the outcome of the meeting would impact a lot of people, adding that many short-term rental owners rely on that income to stay in their own homes.

Plus, she says, if the 2020 decision that allows them to operate is changed, she and her husband would have to turn to long-term rental.

Something, she says, wouldn’t work.

“You don’t have as much control,” she said. “We can kick out somebody immediately if they’re having a party or breaking our rules or something like that. If somebody has a six-month lease it’s going to be a little harder to get rid of a bad tenant.”

40 people have signed the petition to reverse the decision made by the board in 2020.

The owner believes many of the 40 people were tricked into signing the document under false pretenses.

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