Located in the Coachella Valley, La Quinta is known as ‘the gem of the desert.’ Short-term rentals have been a part of its vibrant city fabric since 2008, with locals and travelers used to enjoying its mild winter weather and world-class golf courses alongside each other.
When COVID-19 pandemic brought a boom in local travel, the relationship between residents and travelers deteriorated. As more and more short-term rentals were popping up, complaints to the city were also rising at an alarming speed.
As a result, in August of 2020, the city issued a moratorium on all new short-term rental permits, announcing that they will take some time to investigate the problem.
The council found that excessive noise was the most popular neighbor complaint. They decided to address the problem by starting a pilot program testing noise and occupancy sensors, including Minut.
“Can they help us either prevent complaints from taking place [...] or help STVR operators effectively respond to issues that are happening at the property?,” wondered Chris Escobedo, Director of Community Resources with the City of La Quinta in an interview with NBC Palm Springs.
The city recruited 25 local hosts to participate in the program, which lasted 3 months, from March to June of 2021. Here are the results.
The trial found that noise monitoring was successful in reducing the amount of noise complaints to the city, as it lets hosts respond to the event before it gets out of hand. The data indicates that Minut solved 83% noise events in 20 minutes or less:
Only 4 noise complaints were generated throughout the 3 months of the trial, with 3 of them being false. This was verified by Minut readings, as well as the responder who checked on the complaints. The City concluded that their staff could easily figure out whether a complaint was real or not thanks to noise monitoring.
Minut also received positive feedback as it comes to installation and use, with 92% of trial participants reporting that Minut sensors were easy to install. Minut can be self-installed by the host or maintenance staff - and it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes on average. The participants appreciated that. 76% of hosts also said that Minut was easy to use.
The City of La Quinta is now conducting Phase 2 of the trial. After that, they will make a decision regarding a noise monitoring mandate.