Reservoir leases

Some reservoir residents need a wake-up call about their leases on reservoir property. Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) officials are looking into enforcing a regulation that is already a part of leasing contracts.

“It’s like Airbnbs,” said John Sigman, PRVWSD general manager. “More and more residents offer their leased property up for vacation rental. Like seven-day terms, short stuff like that. All leases strictly say reservoir properties are for residential use.”

Sigman said officials have heard complaints from other lessees about disruptions, large numbers of cars and loud noises late at night. 

“Those leaseholders requested we consider this regulation.”

Sigman said once they heard of the issue, they sent letters to the leaseholders renting out their properties. Officials have received no response to the letters.

Many of the lessees sub-letting their reservoir property for vacations don’t live there, but have a primary residence elsewhere.

“We have tracked five or six (leases) that are actively advertised on www.airbnb.com and other sites,” said Sigman. “We’ve had 15 or 20 phone calls about these things… It seems to be growing. We want to put a rule that clarifies our position.” Sigman said regulations are enforceable by virtue of the justice court.

“To enforce a lease violation, it takes about two years. This has a much quicker timeline and also reinforces what’s in the lease.”In their research, officials found the city of Southaven recently adopted an ordinance similar to what the reservoir wishes to enforce. The appellate court upheld Southaven’s ordinance in the case of Charles Thomas Bostick and Larry S. Poe v. Desoto County.

“It lends validity to what we’re trying to do,” said Sigman.

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