By a vote of 6,375 to 5,378 South Portland will regulate short-term rentals. Since the emergence of companies like Airbnb and HomeAway, cities have struggled to find a balance between maintaining the integrity of residential neighborhoods and satisfying a new industry.
South Portland has been at the forefront of this debate in Maine as it continues to grow in popularity due to its many attractions and proximity to downtown Portland. The Press Herald reported that there were 282 short-term rentals in South Portland as of November 2017.
Now that the dust has settled, what will be the law after January 1, 2019?
- “Unhosted Short-Term Rentals of 30 Days or less in residential zones” are banned.
- “Unhosted”= Owner Not on Premises During Stay
- All short-term rental units must be inspected, licensed and insured by South Portland.
- City officials with use new technology to monitor for illegal short-term rentals.
What will not be impacted?
- Unhosted Short-Term Rentals in Commercial or Mixed-Use Zones.
Details still need to be worked out. For instance, “Hosted” short-term rentals will be allowed in residential zoning areas under certain conditions. The City Clerk’s office will release information about registration as it becomes available and recommends checking their website for new updates.
The attorneys at Ainsworth, Thelin and Raftice handle all types of real estate matters. Every case is fact dependent and even the smallest detail can impact how the law will apply to you or your building.
The information in this blog is not designed to be specific legal advice. If you have a question or wish to set up a consultation, please click below or call us today.
I am sure that line got your attention! Good! At ATR, we have been advising clients for years that what you communicate can have consequences. To get that point across succinctly, I tell clients not to text, e mail, or post anything they would not be comfortable reading out loud in open court, to a judge. I have heard other attorneys tell their clients that they should be comfortable reading any of their communications to their children. The point is, our private thoughts and opinions can and often do have negative consequences. We all have strong emotions about our personal lives and those we have relationships with and that is natural. A recent Maine Law Court opinion (State v. Heffron) however made it clear that some communication, even a post on your own Facebook page, can be legally interpreted as “contact” and in the context of a Protection From Abuse Order, “contact” can result in arrest, detention, and perhaps conviction.
Social media is as much a part of our everyday lives as our emotions are but mixing the two without being aware of the consequences can literally land you in jail. There are appropriate outlets for the natural, strong emotions that arise out of the relationship dynamics we all face. Now more than ever, people need to think before they “speak” or their freedom may be in jeopardy. Our criminal team can help you navigate the social media landscape after the Heffron decision, and by all means, edit what you post, e mail, or text in the midst of difficult times.
One of many reasons to have the right attorney!!
If you own property near a lake or pond in Maine, odds are good
that you or a neighbor has an easement. So common and yet so misunderstood, easements can be one of the most frequent sources
of real estate disputes.
Strictly speaking, an easement is a right to do something on someone else’s property. An easement does not confer ownership rights; rather it grants the ability to perform some act on the property. While often called “rights of way,” easements are not restricted to crossing over the property of another. It could be the right to seasonally farm or mine, it could be a shared driveway; it could grant the right to pass and repass over the land of the grantor to access a lot, a beach, or a shared dock.
While many easements can be located by researching the title to your property, many others cannot. There are multiple kinds of easements recognized by Maine law and most do not have to be recorded at the registry of deeds. Easements by agreement, easements by estoppel, prescriptive easements, and easements by implication are all created by conduct and by the history of the use of the land. These are likely to be unknown to a new purchaser, but are no less binding than an easement recorded in the registry of deeds. Likewise, longtime residents can find themselves embroiled in a dispute with new owners when the easements rights, never reduced to writing, are ignored or contested.
This is Maine: When the easement was created, everyone knew what the agreement was and exactly where the right of way was located. Over time, the specifics of that original agreement become lost. Even when reduced to writing, it is not at all uncommon to find that the language in the deeds is vague and unclear to modern readers. While all the original grantors knew where the “path to the beach” was when they first set pen to paper, the land has changed. Perhaps it has been developed; the right of way no longer hugs a rock wall at the
edge of a pasture; it cuts through the middle of a hoped-for housing development.
And what of the person who owns the land over which the easement crosses? What can he do with his property? Can he build on his property? Maintain a fence? Can he park on it? When trying to make use of his own property, is he restricted in what he can do? The answer will depend on the specific facts creating the easement rights. Like much of the law, the correct answer may defy “common sense.”
We can help. I’m a Windham native. At Ainsworth, Thelin & Raftice, P.A., we have been helping property owners negotiate the tricky waters of easements for more than a quarter of a century. We have resolved easement
and property disputes throughout Southern and Coastal Maine. We are also the legal agent for hundreds of Maine companies. If you, your clients, family, friends, or neighbors need a problem solved, please call us.
~ John Turcotte, Attorney at Ainsworth, Thelin & Raftice, P.A.