‘More like a hotel’: Neighbors raise concerns over short-term rentals at Savoy Apartments

They shared photos of late-night pool parties and trash in the hallways with their community manager.
Tenants at the Savoy Apartments are upset after short-term rentals have the complex operating more like a hotel.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:07 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tenants at the Savoy Apartments in uptown Charlotte signed a lease for a luxury apartment community, but they say it operates more like a hotel with a revolving door of guests.

Cameron Watson and John Craver moved into the Savoy with high hopes.

“It offered everything that we’re looking for in an apartment - secure building, it was easy access to uptown,” Watson said.

However, they quickly noticed their next-door neighbor was not a full-time tenant.

“You can book a short-term stay as short as three days,” Craver said. “They’re here on vacation. Lots of drinking, lots of noise, and so we really never know what the weekend is going to be like.”

They shared photos of late-night pool parties and trash in the hallways with their community manager.

The community manager confirmed to them via email that “Savoy does have a limited number of approved corporate-style leases here” and “upon leasing a unit, we do relay all Savoy policies to the corporate units to share with their guests.”

Watson says those policies are not being followed.

“When you have a loud ruckus beside you at 3:30 a.m. on the balcony beside you, you know that’s basically right in your ear when you’re trying to sleep,” Watson said.

“With a true neighbor, the next morning you might go and have a conversation with them, but when these folks are here for just a very brief time, I don’t feel comfortable necessarily going and confronting them,” Craver said.

Rent prices at the Savoy range from roughly $1,600 to $6,000 a month, but according to listings across Airbnb and VRBO, anyone can stay there for a minimum of three nights starting at just $150 a night.

“I get home at about 5 o’clock each day and check-in time for the short-term rental starts at four and so I see, you know folks kind of lined up at this little lock box, checking in with their luggage,” Craver said. “You know there’s confusion. Folks are asking, ‘Hey, can you buzz me up to this floor? Can you let me in the door?’”

They say this is not what they signed up for.

“What should be kind of a community feel and apartment feel has definitely changed and feels more like, you know, kind of like an extended stay hotel without any property management present in the evening,” Craver said. “Knowing that the key fob to our building is being distributed so widely, we don’t know who they are and neither does Greystar as far as I know.”

They say they’d like to see a city-wide change.

“I think that it is a good arrangement for Greystar, right, to make money on what would be vacant, non-revenue-producing units, and I think that they will likely continue to do that unless you know the city of Charlotte kind of steps up and put some real ordinances together to prevent this type of thing from happening,” Craver said.

While they search for a home to buy, they hope things get better for people renting across the city.

“Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical or the right thing to do for business,” Watson said.

WBTV reached out to Greystar in regards to this short-term rental policy. They did not address that specifically, but a spokesperson for Savoy Apartments did provide the following statement:

“Our goal is to provide enjoyable, living experiences for all of our residents. When we receive a complaint from one of our residents, we respond in an appropriate way to assist in getting the complaint resolved. We encourage residents to reach out to us if they have any disturbance complaints we need to address.”

WBTV also reached out to the city of Charlotte regarding its’ ability to regulate short-term rentals. A spokesperson said:

“The City’s Zoning Ordinance does not include short-term rental restrictions. The Zoning Ordinance does have the definition of “family” to specify the number of individuals allowed to reside within a dwelling unit and how the home/apartment can be utilized.

The ordinance has restrictions for Bed and Breakfast (B&B) and Boarding Houses regarding location and the maximum number of guests. Property owners/managers who operate outside of these parameters are in violation of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.

Currently, the Charlotte Zoning Ordinance and the City Code do not have restrictions on short-term rentals within residential neighborhoods. There are no imminent plans to revise the ordinance due to current legal and legislative uncertainty on the topic of short-term rentals.”

Related: Skyhouse Uptown tenant suing property management company over flooding issues, lack of maintenance