Short-term rentals is a growing business in La Crosse, and city leaders are looking at ways to regulate it.
The city’s Judiciary and Administration Committee delayed action Monday on a licensing plan for renting houses for just a few days, so the idea can further looked at.
Joe Leinfelder is a La Crosse resident who lives next to such a rental unit. He spoke to the committee during public comment before the meeting. Leinfelder said he has concerns about parking, maintenance and bad behavior by people who rent those houses, apparently for parties, vacations or other purposes.
“But the lack of respect for the neighborhood” also bothers Leinfelder. “Last week, I had four people stay next to me. When they left, they left me a present. They threw garbage over in my backyard and let it sit.”
Another speaker was Lenore Knudson from the Onalaska area, who has experienced her own problems with short-time renters.
“The personal impact on your nerves is just terrible,” Knudson said. “It goes on for hours and hours of people packing and unpacking, and noise, and bad language and unlicensed pets and unattended fires.”
Knudson added that when another neighbor called Airbnb about problems at a rental house, she said the rental company told the neighbor to go to a hotel.
City staff estimate 119 short-term rental properties are operating now in La Crosse with many renting parts of homes instead of a whole house. Bed-and-breakfast homes might be exempted from any proposed rules.
The committee proposed to delay a vote on licensing plans until the city’s December meetings. The postponement will be discussed by the full city council next week.