2011 November Regulating Rental Properties to Stabilize Neighborhoods

With difficult economic times prompting more owners of single-family houses to lease their homes, concern is growing in some communities about the impact of rental properties on neighborhood stability. While an increase in rental housing can benefit some populations, some are concerned too many rental properties negatively affect the character of the neighborhood.

McKenna has conducted a nationwide review of how communities are approaching the issue and has developed “best practices” guidelines for communities looking for sound strategies. Four of the many approaches are:

  • Regulating maintenance
  • Licensing and inspecting rental properties
  • Establishing parking requirements based on number of occupants
  • Requiring local property management.

“There is a common perception that because many renters have only a short-term connection to the neighborhood, they automatically undermine its stability—and that’s not necessarily so,” says McKenna Senior Principal Planner Amy Chesnut, AICP. “The key is to zero in on the community’s real concern—be that housing prices, the appearance of homes or the behaviors of renters—and craft regulations that are proven effective for addressing those challenges.”

For specific ideas about how to effectively regulate rental properties in your community, speak with your McKenna planner or contact McKenna Senior Principal Planner Amy Chesnut, AICP at achesnut@mcka.com or 888.226.4326.