Short-Term Rental Survey Results

Read the full report  here:

Executive Summary of Findings

Tuscaloosa Neighbors Together developed a forty-nine (49) question online survey that included multiple choice and open-ended questions. The survey was distributed widely through neighborhood email lists, social media, and announcements in the Tuscaloosa News.

  • There were 368 participants, including 24 homeowner or neighborhood association representatives and 45 STR operators.

  • Approximately half  (53.4%) the sample had lived in Tuscaloosa for 21 years or longer.

  • Approximately 130 neighborhoods were represented by at least one participant.

Results

Neighborhood Policies and Support for STRs

  • Most neighborhoods do not have regulations or policies related to STRs.

  • The general public and neighborhood representatives indicated their neighborhoods did not support STRs.

  • STR operators’ overwhelmingly viewed their neighborhoods as supporting STRs.

Current Operation of STRs

  • Only 35% of respondents with STRs currently operating in their neighborhood were satisfied with their operation.

  • A minority of the general public (15%) and STR operators (24%) were satisfied with the City’s current enforcement of STR regulations.

Concerns about Expanding STRs Citywide

  • The majority of the general public indicated that six neighborhood characteristics would become worse if STRs expanded into their neighborhood. The greatest concerns were for:

    • Quality of life for long-term residents (63%)

    • Attractiveness of the neighborhood for residents (62%)

    • Maintaining a sense of neighborhood community (65%)

Protections for Neighborhoods

  • Policies related to enforcement collectively showed the highest rates of endorsement, with 65% to 79% of the general public showing some support for these ideas.

  • Protections that would limit the expansion of STRs had support from the majority of the general public. Endorsement was highest for requiring:

  • The STR to be the primary residence of the operator (71%).

  • Support from neighborhoods before STRs are permitted (64%)

  • The majority of STR operators failed to endorse these same protections, with the exception of institute meaningful consequences to offenders (57%). 

  • Nearly 70% of the general public preferred that the operation of STRs be limited to a total of 30 days or less per year (including none).

  • The vast majority of the general public preferred to cap the number of adults at six of fewer (73%); whereas the vast majority of STR operators endorsed a seven or higher (71%).