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Many cities across the US, including New York, Santa Monica, Philadelphia, and Austin are cracking down on short-term rentals with stronger regulations. Local laws are being introduced that place bans on whole units renting for less than 30 days in some areas along with tighter safety codes and general area regulations designed to minimize the interruption to long-term residents.

Previously, cities relied on residential complaints to pinpoint when short-term rental issues arose and enforce local regulations. Now they’re taking a much more proactive approach. Some destinations have even introduced hefty fines for regulation violations. For example, in New York City, failure to adhere to local law could cost you anything between $1,000 and $5,000.

Although this action may seem drastic, there are neighborhoods with major disruptions caused by guests staying in alternative accommodations, especially when it comes to noise. One survey found that excessive noise is the single greatest concern of residents for potential short-term rental neighbors – likely because this accommodation type is vulnerable to guests inviting additional people to the property and throwing parties. So, how can property managers stay one step ahead of regulatory pressures to avoid upsetting the surrounding community and receiving complaints or worse, costly fines?

At a time when short-term rental competition is high, the last thing property managers need is the looming threat of guests damaging their business’s reputation and driving away potential future bookings. That’s why property technology has been designed to help support companies in minimizing risks associated with noise.

Noise monitoring technology: what is it?

Noise monitoring solutions use discrete in-unit, plug and play devices that measure the decibel levels of a property for proactive noise prevention. The technology is able to alert property managers when noise levels exceed thresholds for long enough, and this is achieved in a completely private and legal way. Devices do not record or store conversations, they simply monitor decibel levels of the internal environment 24/7.

Powered by a privacy-safe sensor, the technology integrates with a unified property management platform for remote visibility of noise activity at any time. The device runs via Z-wave connectivity and a cellular hub rather than WiFi to ensure maximum reliability.

How does a noise monitoring system work?

  • Simply plug the device into a normal power outlet and pair it with your platform
  • Customize your noise thresholds and durations based on local law and preference (you may choose to give your properties a buffer by setting limits below local regulations)
  • Start accessing real-time activity graphs (soon you’ll have full access to historic data from the moment of install)
  • Receive instant alerts when noise thresholds are exceeded and act on issues as necessary to protect your business and your license

How can noise monitoring solutions benefit your business?

Being made aware of noise issues in real-time enables property managers to take preventive action before a situation escalates, damage to the property occurs, fines are levied or your license is threatened. A simple message is usually enough to remind guests of house rules, stopping unruly gatherings from getting out of hand. Installing noise monitoring technology can help short-term rental property managers minimize the risk of local noise regulation violations during booked guest stays and reduce disturbance to neighbors.

Other benefits of smart noise monitoring include peace of mind for the security of your assets and company’s reputation. Your properties aren’t solely threatened by unsolicited parties — when vacant, they’re also vulnerable to break-ins. Having oversight of what’s happening at your properties from anywhere, at all times, improves portfolio protection.

The installation and management of the tech is easy. You’ll gain enhanced awareness no matter where you are — plus, the IoT-powered device integrates with the same platform managers use for other property needs, such as HVAC management, water management, and access solutions, for a seamless user experience.

What do short-term rental guests think about noise monitoring tech?

Misconceptions about noise monitoring technology can lead to a negative reputation, with some believing that these devices record conversations and infringe upon their privacy. However, this is a misunderstanding. Noise monitoring sensors only track the decibel levels and do not record conversations.

According to our research, over 7 in 10 short-term rental property guests are interested in smart proactive noise prevention technology. What’s more, 50% say they’ve experienced the technology before.

With many destinations cracking down on short-term rentals and tightening regulations, it’s more important than ever for short-term rental property managers to make smart tech investments. Noise monitoring technology supports managers in resolving issues before they develop into complaints, fines, property damages, and upset neighbors, helping them stay on top of developing regulations.

Read our blog, Noise monitoring: how to make it work for you, to find out more about this up-and-coming property tech tool.