Rental and homeowner rights

Letter to the Editor

Dear Senator Steube:

I am a full time resident of Holmes Beach, a third generation native and owner of the #1 Re/Max franchise in the state of Florida. I state all of that to you in hopes of you understanding that I am not some new NIMBY that wants to stop all development, and I fully grasp and support the meaning of private property rights and have served the National Association of Realtors as a representative in Washington, D.C. The issues on the Island are in my mind a private property rights battle between homeowners and investors. I personally have five of these rentals immediately contiguous with my home and all have pools. The various parties and yelling that goes on is pretty difficult to put up with, especially the first Saturday night when it seems lots of alcohol is being consumed. I believe that I am entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of my own home and my six grandkids shouldn’t have to hear F bombs through the fences surrounding my home. Investors are taking a calculated risk for a chance at a profit, and, as we both know, municipalities can and do change various requirements that can affect an investor and their potential profits. I have sold many properties on the Island, and I always cautioned my buyer/investor to beware that ordinances can always change. This is called risk versus reward, and it’s what investors do, but it is not what homeowners are doing when they buy a home. Allowing investors to slide under the cover of private property rights is a misuse of the term, and the founders of our Constitution clearly understood the rights of peacefully living in your home. I believe in home rule for local cities, and I do not think legislators should be telling residents how their towns should operate. I have been a real estate investor for over 40 years, and I always understood that rules can change, but I never expected the state government would become Big Brother in my life. I urge you to reconsider this position for the sake of homeowners everywhere in our area.

– Ron Travis  Broker/owner/partner  RE/MAX Alliance Group