Reader Rant: ‘How I Stopped Worrying and Came to Love Annoying My Short Term Vacation Rental Neighbor’

by on April 25, 2018 · 20 comments

in Ocean Beach

Editordude: The following is a compilation of a number of suggestions readers left in comments to our articles on short term vacation rentals.

Perhaps the solution to the mini-hotels and short term vacation rentals is for all permanent residents to collectively hit the STVR owners where it hurts the most – the pocket book. If you are a permanent OB resident living next to a full time vacation rental, make life miserable for the guests – in legal ways. Make it so they won’t want to come back and will encourage others not to.

Here are a number of suggestions on how to annoy the STVR guests and the non-residential host-owners. Some may verge on a little civil disobedience as long as it doesn’t drag one down to their level. So, be as obnoxious as possible.

There are some other more direct tactics that are legal, moral, and ethical (not in any particular order).

No. 1. Contact the owner and let them know that you disapprove of vacation rentals in general because they are an ongoing nuisance, reduce the quality of life in the neighborhood, displace community members to make room for vacationers, and throw an already volatile rental and real estate market into sheer chaos.

No. 2. Let the owner know that the most carefully screened guests are still an annoyance as they move in and out every week.

No. 3. Let the owner know that you plan on doing everything possible to encourage them to rent with a 30-day minimum.

No. 4. File formal land-use complaints with the city, stating that they are using the property for transient lodging and not as a single-family residence.

No. 5. Meet the guests as you would any new neighbor and let them know politely that although they may be unwitting victims, vacation rentals have created conflict and they are not welcome here. Explain that normally you love showing tourists around but vacation rental operators have soured the neighbors’ attitude. Make it obvious that you are taking photos/videos of any parking, trash, crowd, partying irregularities.

No. 6. Call the owner and management company at every slight disturbance. For example, even though playing music in the daytime is not a code violation, the owner should know every single time it impacts your life. When appropriate, call the police and/or code enforcement officials immediately. (Yes, the police do have more important things to attend to; that’s why they should be on our side when we object to vacation rentals putting us in the role of front desk clerks and them in the role of hotel security.)

No. 7. Hold louder parties than them.

No. 8. Be the kind of permanent resident that they as visitors did not bargain for being next to on their vacation. If they ask questions, give intentionally bad information (where is the best place to get _______, or how do you get to ________).

No. 9. Move your exercise equipment to the front of the garage, maybe wearing a Speedo during the work out.

No. 10. Put up visible signs that make it clear STVRy visitors are not welcome. “A few days ago I noticed that a nearby Airbnb listing had their first review and the guests said the neighbors made it clear through comments and signs that weekly visitors are not welcome. Now that will hit the owner in the pocketbook!”

No. 11. If you have one, mow your lawn early and often. Mowing your lawn is every resident’s right, even if you want to mow your lawn at the crack of dawn, even on a Saturday or Sunday morning. (But be careful – you don’t want to annoy your genuine neighbors.)

No. 12. Put up as many windchimes as you can.

No. 13. Sing loudly while in your yard, or while doing gardening or other chores outside

No. 14. Set up a basketball hoop in your driveway and play often.

No. 15. Knock on his door at weird hours asking to borrow stuff. This is another way to get under your STRV neighbor’s skin. You can knock on the door at seven in the morning asking if they have any chocolate chip cookie dough; say you’re really having a craving! Or you can knock on the door late in the evening, asking if your neighbor has any bacon you can make.

How they act is their karma, how you react is your karma. I plan on staying my happy and cheerful self, even as I protest loudly.




{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page April 25, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I think I’ll go for the Speedo workout method, that should send any sane person off the deep end.


RB April 25, 2018 at 12:55 pm

I don’t blame the renters. I blame the City Council.
Seems to me, the noise, the litter, and the parking problems should be brought to the homes of those who created this mess, our inland city council members.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman April 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Except for nattering spineless City Council members who deserve direct confrontation and demands for redress of grievance against offensive vacation rentals by owner, I think passive resistance is best, especially ostentatious Speedo workouts and windchimes.


Phil Lawrence April 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

I’m assuming this is a tongue-in-cheek joke and not a recipe for making yourself miserable.


Eric April 25, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Here you go Jeff, forget the speedo. Please post your STVR resistance pictures. You do, I’ll cut a check for $100 to the OB Rag. :)


Geoff Page April 26, 2018 at 9:34 am

Haha, good one Eric, but unless they make one with steel cables, I don’t think any less would work. I think The Rag isn’t gonna get that $100.


Chris April 26, 2018 at 5:31 pm
Geoff Page April 27, 2018 at 9:34 am

Chris, you are cruelly funny, that’s an image I’ll have to get burned off my retina.


Oldob April 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm

So basically what you are saying is, “ruin someone’s vacation regardless of how they are behaving because you don’t like what the OWNER of a home is doing, lawfully, with THEIR house.” Unlike most of the losers and d bags who haunt OB, contributing next to nothing to society or the community, the people who pay their hard earned money to go on vacation have worked for it and don’t deserve this treatment. If you did that crap to me, you would be paid back in kind.


Chris April 26, 2018 at 11:12 am

I’m good with it Oldob. Whenever I’ve used Air BnB, I always made sure it was a home sharing situation as opposed to an STVR that’s having a negative impact in the neighborhood it’s located it. So with that, yes I expect others to think that way as well. I work hard for my money too but that doesn’t mean I give two s***s how hard these guests worked for their money to go on said vacation if they are not conscious about this issue. I don’t care if they are visiting from an area with similar issues (which makes more inexcusable) or if they are from small town North Dakota and never seen the ocean before. Zero excuses. If there’s one good thing about your opinion of OB, it keeps you out of there so that’s always a plus.


Michael April 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm

It just sounds like you’re being a jerk. I would probably worry more about vandalism to your property from a STVRenter who can hop a flight the very next day.


Chris April 26, 2018 at 11:18 am

“If you did that crap to me, you would be paid back in kind.”

Ooooh!! You sure said a mouthful there.


retired botanist April 25, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Put the shoe on, Oldob. Its not JUST the owners. Personally, I want all people to think about their actions. And knowing how controversial this topic is (even internationally-read what Palma, Majorca did recently about STVRs), I wouldn’t go on a “vacation” where I end up invading a residential community b/c it suits me to avoid hotels, or b/c I couldn’t afford to be there otherwise, or b/c I felt it didn’t matter who I might be displacing or disrupting- heck, its only a week, right? Not my problem, right? Wrong. Sorry, but folks who partake of this particular industry are like litterers: foul someone’s else’s nest, walk away, and don’t consider the impact.
Your attitude is all about “Can you” instead of “Should you”, and that’s the layer that needs addressing, whether you’re the ‘owner’ or the ‘renter’!


Geoff Page April 26, 2018 at 9:36 am

Well said, retired botanist. Besides, how else to make sure people write those bad reviews that will hurt that business.? Complaining to the owners, some owners to be fair, falls on deaf ears.


Michael Jacobs April 26, 2018 at 7:51 am

I particularly like number 4


John O. April 26, 2018 at 3:45 pm

In addition to STVR owners… non owner occupied places should also be outlawed or taxed at extremely high rates.
Let the renters know that their owner is making money off of them. Try to get them to move out so the owner loses money.
Oppose development so OB does not lose its charm and culture. Gentrification sucks. So do investment owners.
People that do not visit the beach regularly should not be allowed to live at the beach.
Limit 1 car per 1000 sq ft of living space.


Rufus April 27, 2018 at 6:42 am

Leave the free spending tourists alone. Don’t kill the golden goose. Tourists visit, leave their money, then go home.

Focus all your anti-STVR enegy on the city council. They are the only folks who can enforce existing laws against STVRs. Dominate their time, swamp their phones, mail, and email with complaints. Don’t give up. Make them have a constant STVR headache until they effectively act.


Geoff Page April 27, 2018 at 9:42 am

The tourists will still come, they’ll just go to hotels like they should be doing.


triggerfinger April 27, 2018 at 11:58 am

Tourists don’t leave me any money. And they don’t support the local places I go to.

If anything, more toursist income drives up commercial rents on Newport and puts more pressure on the businesses that mainly serve locals’ needs.


Rick September 19, 2019 at 10:28 am

Wind Chimes are going in! Some cautions; you can’t go on their property, you will get a trespassing lecture from San Diego’s Finest. Don’t water your plants while the guests are outdoors, the over spray will get you a lecture on assault and battery from San Diego’s Finest. Avoid air horns or you will get a lecture on harassment from San Diego’s Finest. The hosts have the upper hand at the moment, publicizing their bullying and the incivility of their guests is the only way we can win.


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