There are two competing interests here on the coast of Maine when it comes to short-term rentals. Landlords can earn more by renting out properties by the night or the week than by leasing them long-term to year-round residents. The practice has displaced residents, put needed housing out of many residents’ reach and, in a number of communities, contributed to a decline in a healthy year-round population and workforce.

You can’t blame property owners for wanting to squeeze as much value as they can out of their investments. That is why regulating such rentals has been a difficult subject to broach even in communities where there is wide consensus that short-term rentals are a problem.

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