Alder seeks regulations to Airbnb policies in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For some residents in the Westville section of New Haven, speeding cars, out of state drivers, and loud parties are becoming a normal occurrence. People who live on Greenhill Terrace say homes being rented on Airbnb are causing the problems.

“There’s no consistency when you’re dealing with in and out residents or renters so that’s a big issue,” said one woman named Sharon.

One house that sits on the corner is the root of the complaints. On Thursday, News 8 saw renters heading into the home but the property looked very well kept. Homeowner Sim Levenhartz told News 8 that his renters have not caused any problems and the neighbors are overreacting.

“I really like the neighborhood. I think I did a beautiful job here. My plan is to move into the home and if not I will sell it,” said Levenhartz.

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Levenhartz says he owns multiple properties in the city, and has had issues with burglaries and vandalism when they sit vacant. He said Airbnb is a great way to keep the home safe and make money to cover the costs associated with the houses.

Darryl Brackenn, Jr. is the Alderman for the 26th Ward and says he understands why property owners are using the service. He says a lack of hotel rooms in the city and homes that aren’t selling have led to the popularity of Airbnb.

“Citywide this has been a concern for quite some time,” said Brackeen.

Brackeen and other alders are working on an ordinance that might solve some of the issues.

“It’s in the very initial phases and stages and we’re just looking to create a platform to ensure that the neighborhood quality of life is sustained,” said Brackeen.

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Brackeen stresses they don’t want to stop Airbnb rentals, just make sure there is a system of checks and balances.

“It says it’s a good thing. People are coming to New Haven for a reason. That means there’s some attraction to the city. That’s a great thing,” said Brackeen.

Back on Greenhill Terrace residents say they just want their neighborhood to remain safe and neighbor friendly.

“You have to have an active involvement as a landlord so that there’s some kind of consistency,” said Sharon. “You have someone check in but when you’re out of state there’s a loss of communication. Things aren’t being checked and that can be an issue.”

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