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Residents in Fountain Square concerned about short-term rentals causing noise, big gatherings, and crime



Indianapolis, Indiana — Concerns concerning rental properties are being voiced by residents of Fountain Square.

There are several different VRBOs and Airbnbs in the area, some of which, according to the neighbors, have created problems. Many locals claimed they have to put up with a variety of annoyances, some of which even put their safety in danger.

“The majority are fine and good, but there are some that will have a large overnight party,” said Fountain Square neighbor Dakota Pawlicki. “Then suddenly your entire street is blocked up with cars everywhere. There are people spilling out into the streets.”

These sizable gatherings, according to homeowners, are exceedingly inconvenient.

“Sometimes the noise is really bad,” said neighbor Ronald Melton. “I’m retired, but everyone else here in the neighborhood is working normal jobs and it’s really loud.”

In addition to being annoying, neighbors have reported that it can also cause damage.

“My wife’s car was damaged because one of their guests fell and damaged the car cause he was drunk,” Melton said.

Homeowners claim that occasional huge party gatherings at short-term rentals have become violent, despite the fact that the majority of complaints often center on excessive noise or a crowded street.

“Often times things escalate,” Pawlicki said. “We’ve had incidents of property theft, even gun violence, and even murder in some cases.

Since many of these large party gatherings have included teens and underage drinking, IMPD is now attempting to crack down on them.

“We want folks to have a good time, however, when there is underage drinking or people being shot, we do not need that obviously in our city,” IMPD Ofc. William Young said. “So we’re trying to bring awareness to it.”

Pawlicki claimed to have seen incidences of gun violence close to his house. The Coalition to Address Short-Term Rentals was founded with his help. Now, his group is urging movement.

“What people want is to be able to live in a community where they know their neighbors and where they’re not concerned about gun violence right next door to them,” he said.

Ofc. Young of the IMPD stated that tenants must also take a position on the matter.

“Know who’s renting your home or your facility for that matter,” Young said. “Making sure there is no illegal activity, and if you do learn about that illegal activity, we want you to reach out to us.”

In conversations with local officials, neighbors who are a part of Pawlicki’s group have proposed a few ideas, such as a law mandating short-term rentals to register with the city or guidelines requiring renters to stay for a minimum of two nights rather than just one.

According to Pawlicki, registering with the city will make it easier for the police to get in touch with the renters when a problem arises.

“You can’t go next door and ask your neighbor ‘Hey can you turn it down, hey what’s going on here’,” he described. “[An ordinance] that would have real, accurate contact information for IMPD in the event there is a situation and IMPD needs to get ahold of the property owner, they actually know who to contact, not a shell company or someone based out of state.”

IMPD advised anybody worried about big party gatherings or other nuisances to contact the department’s detectives specializing in nuisance abatement at [email protected].

In addition, the Coalition to Address Short-Term Rentals is trying to compile information on the number of rentals in the region and any problems residents may have had. Anyone who has dealt with these problems, according to the organization, is welcome to complete an online survey.

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