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The Villages
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Residents say short-term rentals taking hit on image of The Villages

Villagers are increasingly nervous about the flourishing short-term rental market in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown and feel it is damaging its reputation.

“Turning The Villages into a major ‘open to the general public airbnb enterprise’ will impact and change the image of The Villages in a very negative way in my opinion,” said Catherine Dannenfeldt of the Village Osecola Hills.

Earlier this month, residents of Community Development District 13 aired their complaints about short-term rentals to the board of supervisors. All of the CDD 13 supervisors are appointed by the Developer and work for The Villages. They offered no answers to the CDD 13 residents, who live in the villages of Chitty Chatty, Bradford, St. Catherine, St. Johns and Hawkins, south of State Road 44.

Since that story was originally published by Villages-News.com, residents have been sounding off on the short-term rental market.

“I’ve been waiting for the time that I can chime in on the short-term rental problem for all of us who live here full time. It’s a nightmare!” said Andrea Kerwin of Villa Valdosta.

She has short-term rentals next door and across the street.

“This may seem trivial, but my dogs are highly tuned into who is coming and going next door and go crazy when new people are moving in and out that they don’t recognize, so I end up trying to keep them from barking all the time,” she said.

Kerwin said she moved to The Villages for the peace and quiet.

“Instead, I’m dodging people who cant’t drive properly (drinking?) who recklessly careen around in golf carts that they don’t know how to operate or navigate the paths well,” she said.

With property frequently changing hands in The Villages, many worry about what could happen in their neighborhoods.

“We have a wonderful street and wonderful neighbors, and would hate to see the newly vacant house (due to a death) become a rental. Please, can’t something be done about this problem?” asked Carol Exum of the Village of Polo Ridge.

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