Thinking about where to stay when spending time in Galveston?
Many visitors think of the usual spots including hotels along the beach – maybe the island classic, the Hotel Galvez and Spa. Some might prefer a bit of elegance with a stay at The Tremont House, or maybe the towering San Luis Resort. There are popular chain hotels and budget beach hotels along Seawall Boulevard. There are also B&Bs, or maybe just staying with friends who own a West End beach house.
But a few quick clicks on Galveston.com or the website of the Short Term Rental Owners Association of Galveston, or STROAG, will reveal an alternative and increasingly sought after way to enjoy your stay on the island – whether beachside or in communities – by renting homes, condos, villas and other properties.
According to STOAG, renting homes has become a popular option for families as they provide more privacy, space and “sense of togetherness,” as noted in the organization’s informational brochure. And those homes are usually situated in residential neighborhoods allowing visitors the feeling of perhaps actually having their own island house. Some neighborhoods have historic homes, and some are available for rent.
“By choosing to stay in a short term rental, you will be living among the many permanent residents who have chosen to call Galveston ‘home,’” reads the brochure. “Staying in a private home allows visitors to experience a sense of cultural immersion. Much like any community, residents of Galveston value peaceful surroundings and an environment that is quiet and safe.”
Rules and courtesies for renting include being a “good neighbor – treating your new neighbors as you would want to be treated in your own community. That means keeping down the noise, including whining and barking from dogs. Also, keeping pets on leashes and cleaning up after them.
Other rules include limiting the number or renters according to the size of the home or property. Blaring amplified music outside the rental property is prohibited. Renters should also be mindful not to block neighbors’ driveways or park illegally, and instead park in the street in front of the home if possible.
The brochure states that neighbors near rental properties have access to a 24-hour phone number to call in complaints. Uncooperative renters could be cited by the City or even evicted by the landlord for violating public nuisance ordinances.
For those looking to lease their properties for short term rentals, STROAG recommends some tips including familiarizing yourself with the City of Galveston ordinances, local and state taxes due, minimal rental ages (25 and older), emergency calls from renters and checking to make sure your property wasn’t damaged after a stay.
For more information, visit www.stroag.org or www.galveston.com/vacationrentals.