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Short Term Rentals in Bozeman, Montana

178 registered responses


Are you a full-time, part-time, or nonresident of Bozeman?

Response Percent Response Count
Full-time Bozeman resident. 89.3% 159
Part-time Bozeman resident. 6.7% 12
Nonresident of Bozeman. 3.9% 7

Are there Short-Term Rentals in your neighborhood?

Response Percent Response Count
Yes 73.6% 131
No 4.5% 8
Not sure 21.9% 39

If you live in Bozeman, what is the impact of Short-Term Rentals (STRs) in your neighborhood?

Response Percent Response Count
I feel STRs have a positive impact on my neighborhood. 43.8% 77
I feel STRs have both positive and negative impacts on my neighborhood. 22.7% 40
I feel STRs have a negative impact on my neighborhood. 19.3% 34
I feel STRs have no impact on my neighborhood. 10.8% 19
I have no opinion on how they impact my neighborhood. 3.4% 6

If you believe Short-Term Rentals (STRs) have positive impacts, why? (select all that apply)

Response Percent Response Count
It's an opportunity to meet new people. 43.6% 58
STR properties are usually well cared for. 84.2% 112
There are fewer empty/dark houses in my neighborhood. 47.4% 63
Other 46.6% 62

If you believe Short-Term Rentals have negative impacts, why? (select all that apply)

Response Percent Response Count
Parking 63.9% 62
Noise 43.3% 42
Litter 18.6% 18
Neighborhood character has changed (please explain in the "other" box) 43.3% 42
Effect on supply of housing 56.7% 55
Safety issues 21.6% 21
Other 44.3% 43

Do you agree or disagree with the following regarding Short-Term Rentals (STRs)?

STRs should require a permit and be assessed fees.
Response Percent Response Count
Agree 61.2% 109
Disagree 35.4% 63
STRs should have a limit on the number of guests.
Response Percent Response Count
Agree 63.5% 113
Disagree 33.1% 59
There should be a density cap (only a certain number of STRs allowed per area/block).
Response Percent Response Count
Agree 45.5% 81
Disagree 51.1% 91
The property owner should reside on-site.
Response Percent Response Count
Agree 26.4% 47
Disagree 69.1% 123
If the property owner is not on-site, there should be a local property manager / responsible person.
Response Percent Response Count
Agree 78.7% 140
Disagree 20.2% 36
The City should not regulate STRs.
Response Percent Response Count
Agree 32.6% 58
Disagree 60.7% 108

Short-Term Rentals should be allowed in the following locations. (select all that apply)

Response Percent Response Count
Low-density residential neighborhoods (mostly single-household) 73.6% 131
Medium-density residential neighborhoods (some single-household, some multi-household properties) 77.5% 138
High-density residential (mostly apartments, condos, multi-household properties) 73.6% 131
Mixed-use areas (some residential, some commercial) 80.9% 144
Commercial areas 59.6% 106
They should not be allowed in the City of Bozeman. 7.9% 14

How often should Short-Term Rentals be inspected?

Response Percent Response Count
Only when initially permitted 12.4% 22
Annually 33.7% 60
Every 3 years 22.5% 40
Never 31.5% 56

My primary reason for owning / operating a Short-Term Rental (STR) is...

Response Percent Response Count
To make additional income. 28.0% 47
To pay the mortgage. 22.6% 38
I live there part-time and don't want to leave it empty. 13.7% 23
My business is owning / operating and renting out properties. 2.4% 4
I do not own / operate a STR. 60.7% 102
Other 13.7% 23

Please share any additional comments.

Answered
110
Skipped
68
Lawrence Sampson inside Quadrant SE
January 30, 2017, 9:28 PM
  • Are you a full-time, part-time, or nonresident of Bozeman?
    • Full-time Bozeman resident.
  • Are there Short-Term Rentals in your neighborhood?
    • Yes
  • If you live in Bozeman, what is the impact of Short-Term Rentals (STRs) in your neighborhood?
    • I feel STRs have a positive impact on my neighborhood.
  • If you believe Short-Term Rentals (STRs) have positive impacts, why? (select all that apply)
    • It's an opportunity to meet new people.
    • STR properties are usually well cared for.
    • Other - In my experience, people that use short-term rentals are genuinely excited about discovering Bozeman and the surrounding area.
  • If you believe Short-Term Rentals have negative impacts, why? (select all that apply)
    No response.
  • Do you agree or disagree with the following regarding Short-Term Rentals (STRs)?
    • STRs should require a permit and be assessed fees. - Disagree
    • STRs should have a limit on the number of guests. - Agree
    • There should be a density cap (only a certain number of STRs allowed per area/block). - Agree
    • The property owner should reside on-site. - Disagree
    • If the property owner is not on-site, there should be a local property manager / responsible person. - Agree
    • The City should not regulate STRs. - Agree
  • Short-Term Rentals should be allowed in the following locations. (select all that apply)
    • Medium-density residential neighborhoods (some single-household, some multi-household properties)
    • High-density residential (mostly apartments, condos, multi-household properties)
    • Mixed-use areas (some residential, some commercial)
    • Commercial areas
  • How often should Short-Term Rentals be inspected?
    • Never
  • My primary reason for owning / operating a Short-Term Rental (STR) is...
    • To pay the mortgage.
  • Please share any additional comments.

    For the questions related to the Cities involvement, please allow me to clarify:
    1. If a permit or fee is required, the use of those funds should be voted on by the public.
    2. STR should follow the City of Bozeman Codes for excessive noise or "public nuisance." The STR owner should be responsible for setting initial limits on the number of guests. I do with my house and am very strict about the number of people allowed on my property at any given time. It's worked out great.
    3. I do think setting a density cap would help ease some general fear that STR can become out of control. That being said, I'm a firm believer in a system that takes into account the years that you have operated the property as a STR, if you are an absentee owner, and if you have consistently paid the state bed tax.
    4. Although I live in the house I rent, I don't think the property owner necessarily has to live on-site. There is a house in my neighborhood in which the owner lives out of town. She has a local caretaker and she comes by the house routinely. There have been no issues with her renters.
    5. I am very nervous of the City regulating STR's. When my ex-wife and I bought this house 15 years ago, we were brand new homeowners. We were as green as could be! We were able to purchase it because it had a long-term apartment, one that had been used for 70-80 years! However, shortly after we began to upgrade the electrical, the City inspectors came and scared us into believing that we had to bring our rental up to current codes. This was a decision that could have been devastating to us, financially. Finally, after many nervous months and working closing with the City, we were able to rent. In hindsight, it cost us undue hardship in lost rental because we only had to do a fraction of the daunting upgrade list. Currently, I use one of the online hosting sites, so between that and my insurance company there is sufficient regulation. If the City feels like it wants to get into the STR regulation business, I would insist that there would be ongoing dialogue to see how that can improve the system, not just scare people out of money.

    I will say, I am very hesitant to share my personal information for fear that it will be used against me. However, as a 15 year resident of Bozeman and a 22 year resident of Gallatin County, I am thankful that the City of Bozeman is willing to hear feedback and because of this, I am happy to add my voice. My story for using my house as a STR comes from two places: a need for the income and a genuine desire to share Bozeman with others. I have found both to be very rewarding! A few years ago I found myself in a situation that required me to look at alternative funding in order to keep my house. Truthfully, I was reluctant to do the STR because of many of the headlines painting the industry as chaotic, out-of-control, and with very few checks and balances for the home owner. For instance, the story of out of the owner returning to their destroyed property made me very nervous. The more I researched, the more I saw how serious these sites were about protecting and advocating for homeowners. I was also concerned with the potential impact my house may have on my neighbors. I live in a neighborhood that has several long-term rentals and have seen a consistent parade of parties that coincide with the new school year. It grows tiresome to have to continually police that as neighbors, so I was very sensitive that my neighbor's welfare should not be impacted. As I began to rent my place and better able to see how I could drive the type of guests that I wanted, ones that I felt would truly care for my place, my anxieties receded. However, part of my management is to continue to vet the affects of my STR on myself, my house, and my neighbors. It is an ongoing process and one that I take quite seriously.

    It should be noted that there are at least six STR's in a two block radius from me. You would be hard-pressed to distinguish those from a full-time, owner-occupied house. In contrast, one can easily spot the three long-term rentals in a one block radius based on the upkeep of the property and traffic flow, both human and auto. Also by comparison, the long-term rental have police regularly breaking up parties, whereas, in the three years I've seen the neighborhood STR's, none of those properties have had the police called. One last comparison has to do with parking. I limit the number of guests that can stay in my house and the total number of people allowed on my property at any given time. Because of this, my guests generally have one car and sometimes two. I have a small off-street parking space, so I rarely take up any room on the streets (which falls in the guidelines for long-term rentals). One 5 bedroom long-term rental house in my neighborhood has no off-street parking but each renter has a car. Another long-term rental house has 7 bedrooms and enough off-street parking for two cars. Each renter has a car. In my view, the STR in my neighborhood do not contribute to noise complaints or parking issues.

    I have paid the State bed tax every quarter since I began my STR journey. I believe in being fair and am happy to do it. I do think this should be a consideration if the City institutes a density cap. I also believe, if the City assesses fees, that there should be two payment levels: owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied, with the later paying more. However, I do not believe that the City, at this point, belongs in the regulation business. In my view, the system of online ratings, guest feedback, neighbor feedback, homeowner insurance, and a State bed tax, work to regulate STR appropriately. I don't know the City can enrich the system, nor do I believe they truly want to get in the game. That being said, if the City chooses to get in the regulation business, the "how to's" should be open to public discussion and should include a section that outlines long-term rental regulations.

    Lastly, while I understand the general fear of STR (because I had my own), I will add that it has been a wonderful experience! People are so excited about our town and this corner of the world. I love hearing their stories of weddings, girl's weekends, real estate hunting, family vacations, seeing their daughter or son graduate, reunions, or literally just coming to unwind and do nothing! One thing that remains constant: their admiration for our town. My guests have loved Bozeman. The untold story of STR is the economic impact. I have no calculations on exact money being spent but these folks go to Bridger Bowl, eat and shop downtown, buy gas, groceries, and souvenirs. They visit locally owned retailers (I know because I see it in the trash). They spread the word about Bozeman. In the past I've participated in Ironman events. At all of the events they ask where you are staying, how many people are in your party, where you ate out and how many times. They want to know those numbers because they provide a service to these host cities. STR managers not only add a vitality to town that is, arguably, hardly noticed, they do so on a personal level. They help to "sell" Bozeman and that should not go unnoticed.

    By the way, not all STR's are created equal. I live in my house about 315 days of the year. Of the 50 or so days that I rent, I have to find alternate housing. I would argue that this is a greater impact on me than the City.

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Agree
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STRs should require a permit and be assessed fees.
STRs should have a limit on the number of guests.
There should be a density cap (only a certain number of STRs allowed per area/block).
The property owner should reside on-site.
If the property owner is not on-site, there should be a local property manager / responsible person.
The City should not regulate STRs.
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