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The Villages
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Official ready to investigate ‘airbnb phenomenon’ plaguing The Villages

An official is ready to investigate the “airbnb phenomenon” plaguing The Villages.

Supervisor Mark Schweikert has won the approval of his fellow Community Development District 5 supervisors to begin looking into the pitfalls of airbnb rentals in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Weekend or nightly rentals, booked online through companies like airbnb, have been a source of frustration for homeowners in The Villages. The quickie rentals have led to complaints about parking abuse, loud music, children and overindulgence in alcohol.

“If you are a consultant operating out of an office in your home that’s fine. But running a business – renting your house out by the night – is not something we are thrilled over,” said CDD 5 Board Chairman Gary Kadow.

Schweikert brings some unique qualities to the probing of the “airbnb phenomenon,” as he called it. Back in Ohio, he served as an elected municipal court judge from 1995 to 2006 and was director of the state’s judicial conference from 2006 to 2016.

When the issue of airbnbs has been raised in the past, CDD supervisors have been told they have no power to intervene. Running a business out of a home is considered an internal deed restriction and therefore is under the authority of the Developer. Children in a home is also an internal deed restriction.

Schweikert made it clear that he is not interested in looking at the more traditional short-term rentals that many residents offer to longer-term snowbirds who are here for several months at a time and frequently stay at the same property year after year.

CDD 5 has demonstrated the willingness to take steps that other CDDs have been reluctant to take. CDD 5 was the first  to stop accepting anonymous complaints when it comes to deed restriction and launched an emergency process to clean up homes that become a potential danger in its neighborhoods.

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