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Location of short-term rentals can affect neighbor attitudes

(Newswise / Emily Yeager)

(Newswise / Emily Yeager)

The characteristics of neighborhoods where short term rentals are located can affect neighbor’s attitudes, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

The findings: If residents feel their neighborhood is on show to tourists, they’re more likely to have a positive attitude about short-term rentals such as AirBNB, VRBO and HomeAway. But residents who feel like their neighborhood is being torn apart are more more likely to oppose such rentals.

Researcher Emily Yeager, who is now an assistant professor at East Carolina University, conducted the study in Savannah, Georgia, while she was a doctoral student at the University of Georgia.

Interactions between residents and tourists have affected their opinions of short-term retnals, Yeager said.

“For example, the Northwest portion of the city has a high concentration of bars and carriage tours. If you asked people who lived in this area’s historic districts, they are proud to have Airbnbs in the neighborhood, but the answer is less positive than in the Southwest corridor,” Yeager said in a news release. “On the other hand, the Starland District is a new district that’s developed in the Southwest portion of the vacation rental zones. There’s an art scene and boutique coffee shops, and if you asked people there if they were proud, it’s a lot different. They are very excited about vacation rentals.”

Yeager conducted the study in 2016 and 2017, before Savannah developed regulations for short-term vacation rentals.

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