South Portland’s attempts to regulate short-term rentals need to take into account all aspects of the issue, not just the bad behavior from a few bad tenants.

We have had a vacation rental for nearly 15 years, and in that time we have had a grand total of two complaints. We keep in very close touch with our neighbors. Restricting or banning short-term rentals would create a number of problems, many coming with a cost to the city and the community at large.

In addition to normal real estate taxes, we pay Maine state lodging tax on every rental, plus we employ local tradespeople, vendors and service providers. Additionally, all of our guests buy local goods and services, probably at a higher rate than locals. Grocery stores, rental car companies, restaurants, lobstermen, etc., all see a significant amount of business from tenants like ours.

We are not blind and deaf to the problems and issues, nor do we object to licensing or inspections. We don’t currently live full time in South Portland, but we spend several months a year here, have a long history in Maine and in the Portland area, and our kids are here.

We are not “rich” 1 percent investors, nor are we house flippers. We bought our small cottage after it had languished on the market for a long time.

The sharing economy (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) is not going away. The pain of change is always hard, but change is inevitable. The issues are complicated, and there are no simple solutions.

Tony Ickes and Susan Holland

South Portland