OCEAN VIEW, Del.- Ocean View rental homes may be a little less crowded come next year.
The town is considering an ordinance that would restrict rental homes' allowed occupancy to two people per bedroom, plus two other persons, though anyone under the age of six is excluded from the headcount. The ordinance would also require homeowners to provide enough space for parking.
"There's a fairly high amount of properties that are rented out every summer that's not an issue," says Mayor Walt Curran. "But the ones who have sleeping quarters for 20 and show up with 12-13 automobiles, that's a problem."
Curran says the town has heard an increased number of complaints, but if the ordinance is approved, it would not be put into place until January 2020.
"We will be patient," he says. "In that time we also will be able to get people to know well ahead of time so they won't trip over their own feet on this."
The ordinance is facing mixed reaction in the real estate community. REMAX Rental Agent Sharon Palmer-Stauffer says many municipalities already have similar restrictions, and ordinances like this are good for safety and compliance.
"The days of packing a house full of 20 people are gone," she says. "That's just not acceptable. Number one they are not paying for that many people to stay there. The occupancy surcharges are set based on the number of bedrooms and the living room and if they have more than that, they are in default of their lease."
Agent Anne Powell says rental issues are few and far between, so she worries the ordinance will only turn off homebuyers.
"Whether it's the HOA, whether it's the brokerage that is doing the rentals or whether it's the police, they are very responsive for things like that," she says. "I would hate to see the town restrict good homeowners with responsible renters."
Mayor Curran says the council must read the ordinance again before anything is voted on, and the town wants to hear feedback. He says the ordinance has already been tweaked after some viewed the parking requirements as too restrictive.