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Warren County is like many counties across the state trying to put in place proper regulations for short term rentals.

Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Weissport, wants to make that job a little easier with a statewide code of conduct for such rental properties. The legislator is distributing a joint sponsorship memorandum to draft legislation that will help local governments deal with short-term rental issues.

“Despite these benefits, when there is a property that is being used as a short-term rental that does not comply with local or state laws, or becomes a neighborhood nuisance, it can become problematic for those in the neighborhood,” he says. Heffley wrote in his joint sponsorship note. To that end, I will soon introduce legislation that will putcode of conduct“For short-term rentals, that would simply reiterate the need for these types of rentals to be in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. This could include all occupancy, parking, noise limits, etc., or even registration and licensing requirements that communities may have. In addition, my legislation will provide legal relief options for neighbors and communities when short-term rental properties become an issue, and the local government does not have the police force or manpower to enforce its laws and ordinances that the property does not comply with.”

The Warren County Planning Commission is reviewing a new law to better regulate short-term rentals in Warren County. The ordinance will only apply to the 13 municipalities covered by the county’s zoning ordinance, which exclude Warren and Youngsville. The public response at the last meeting of the Planning Commission was against the proposal, which would not require exit signs, a permit to allow short-term rentals and would no longer allow recreational vehicles to be used as short-term rentals. Residents were also critical that the law does not deal with loud parties or the temporary nature of short-term rentals, issues that have caused many of the problems neighbors have with rental properties.

While Heffley wants to help ensure compliance with local regulations, he also wants to make sure the short-term rental industry can operate in Pennsylvania.

“On the other hand, my legislation will also prevent local governments from prolonging or delaying the licensing or registration of short-term leases that comply with all ordinances, laws or requirements,” he wrote. “Finally, my legislation will allow the courts to direct listing platforms for short-term rentals to write off properties, if they are persistently nuisance properties and the court has deemed their removal necessary. Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to create a few secondary safeguards to allow law-abiding and compliance for short-term rentals to continue to operate freely while disposing of problematic rents from our communities.”

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