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Tool created to report short-term rental complaints in Indianapolis

Tool created to report short-term rental complaints in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Chelsea Lambert lives right next door to a full-time short-term rental. She says most of the time the renters are quiet, but other times, not so much.

“In May, we had a group of young ones who decided to have a party and the party escalated to them pulling guns and chasing each other up and down the street,” Lambert said.

According to data collected by a coalition formed to address short-term rentals, the house Lambert mentioned is second on the list of reported problem rentals in Indianapolis.

Datoka Pawlicki is with the coalition. He says the website,, was developed out of frustration with the lack of response from the city and short-term rental companies.  

“We realized as soon as we started talking to the police and fire department and others that there was no real mechanism to know which properties aren’t short-term rentals. So, what we created was a report form,” said Pawlicki.

The city of Indianapolis doesn’t require the owners of short-term rentals to register with the city or apply for a business license. In response, the coalition developed the website.

The data below shows the different reported problems of short-term rentals in Indianapolis.

  • Partying or noise violations – 62%
  • Parking – 49%
  • Safety – 43%

Many of the reports include descriptions of blocked alleys, driveways, parking on private parking, and blocked streets due to large parties. Many reports also raised concerns about safety as a result of partying. Another 18% reported property maintenance as a primary or secondary issue. 

The same 13 houses make up 60 % of the complaints.

The house with the most complaints is in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood, which comes with a party building in the backyard. The coalition is told the house is often rented out for events with 30 to 100 people packed into the house and yard. The data collected by the website has led to a city investigation. 

“The city has stepped in, sent inspectors, sent other folks to monitor. That has resulted in a couple of fines based on a misuse of zoning,” said Pawlicki.

The share of the complaints are from Fountain Square and the Bates-Hendricks area. The coalition has shared some of its data with the city and short-term rental companies. Pawlicki says he is hoping that the data will help the city and short-term rental companies to close the most troubled rentals.