NEW ORLEANS - Mary Moses has lived in her Marigny home for 13 years. But she says the house next door is turning her quiet neighborhood into a hotel.
“Every single weekend there are different people from all over the country who come and stay,” said Moses.
The property is listed on VRBO.com for up to $650 a night, with a minimum stay of three to five nights. It’s booked almost every weekend through mid-June.
That's illegal in New Orleans.
“They're renting it out for bachelor parties and whatever,” said Moses. “It changes the fabric of the neighborhood.”
In New Orleans, it is against the law for homeowners to rent their homes out for less than 30 days. In the French Quarter, landlords must rent their property for periods of at least 60 days.
But residents say a growing number of people are renting their home out every weekend.
“It's skyrocketing” said Meg Lousteau, executive director of Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates. “It's just out of control in a lot of places, particularly in the Quarter, but we're hearing a lot of complaints from Marigny and Treme now.”
“They might pack eight or 10 people into these houses and they really don't care about the property, they don't care about the neighbors, they can be quite loud,” said Lisa Shedlock, French Quarter resident and owner of Hoi Polloi boutique in the neighborhood.
Eyewitness News reached out to a number of people who have listed their homes on websites like airbnb.com and VRBO.com. Each declined to do an interview, but some said they enjoy giving visitors a chance to experience a New Orleans neighborhood, they try to do so responsibly, and short term rentals are an important part of their livelihood.
“Maybe they don't know it's not legal,” said Lousteau. “One of our goals is to make sure people know what the rules are.”
Moses and her husband posted fliers around the Marigny that say “New Orleans. Proud to call it hotel?” The fliers suggest what one should do if they know of an illegal short term rental.
Moses hopes to see better city enforcement. She said she has contacted her neighborhood’s quality of life officer. She has also contacted the city, but has yet to hear back.
The city looks into properties that have received complaints, and sends violation notices if applicable, said city spokeswoman Garnesha Crawford.
Violators could get a $575 fine.
The city says it is re-evaluating that penalty.