LTE: A.K. Lehmann on the possible town rental registry in Ludlow

Dear Editor,


I am writing to express my concerns about the town rental registry, written about by Sharon Huntley.

I am a vacation homeowner and I have worked with Airbnb to offset the costs of ownership. I am actually in a competitive position in Ludlow – guests don’t want to rent hovels that are fire hazards, and as an owner who would not risk harm to my family, I do want respectful guests with five-star reviews so I can screen accordingly.

It’s pretty sad that there are Airbnb’s that are intact clean homes – it’s a competitive market that keeps them so – but that there are actual residences that are hovels; literally some barely have a roof or may be half-burned down, and I wonder how people can live there, one giant fire hazard after another – with no care given to maintenance. So I’m not happy with the Town “exploiting” the STR [short-term rental] market while they let their residents live in homes that should be condemned, or at the least inspected, and if they have a “slumlord-owned” [property], deal with those owners!

Honestly wanting to know who is renting sounds like a civil rights issue. If I tell a registry who is renting, what exactly can they do about it? Like having to tell the town who it is a realtor sells property to. That is not legal!

At this point in time, the fire and rescue departments need to make the case – just exactly how many fires took place in STR, how many police calls, rescue calls – real numbers, and clearly names and addresses are attached to problem locations. Deal directly with the offenders – don’t just pluralize and lump everyone into the “problem basket.”

The cottage industry that I support alone – property manager, cleaners, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, restaurants – the economic impact of the STR market is a boon for Ludlow. The less local rentals, the more skiers driving here, so this is not a solution for traffic. My guests take the shuttle, which cuts down on that traffic.

Shuttles from more locations could alleviate the traffic as well, and yes, Vail should be involved.

I hope the Town Selectboard takes these points into consideration and acts in a way that it doesn’t end up hurting the town.



A.K. Lehmann

Ludlow, Vt.

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