Is your vacation rental compliant with new local regulations?
Truckee and Placer County have implemented short-term rental regulations that could result in serious consequences for non-compliant homeowners
ManageHome can help vacation home owners understand and get their short-term rentals compliant with the new regulations. Attempting to go through the new permitting process without professional expertise and guidance could increase your risk of missing an important step or rule. For more information about services and pricing, visit http://www.managehome.net.
Renting out your vacation home can be a lucrative endeavor, but new regulations could put do-it-yourselfers using AirBnB, VRBO or other similar services into risky compliance territory if just one single step is missed or misrepresented.
All short-term rentals (STRs) in Truckee are required to register with the town every year beginning in 2021. In Placer County, similar regulations have been in effect since January 2020. Obtaining these required short-term rental permits from the town or county is more complicated than simply paying a fee, but one local business wants to make the process as smooth as possible for local vacation homeowners.
“The penalties and costs of noncompliance are high,” said Steve Klei, co-founder of ManageHome, a new Truckee-based business that provides step-by-step guidance through the short-term rental permitting process. “We started ManageHome because we realized that the new regulations were causing a tremendous amount of concern and uncertainty with those who are renting their home. We believe the services will be helpful to improving visibility and compliance on key issues like health and safety, fire prevention, as well as from a neighborhood relations standpoint.”
Klei and his partner, ManageHome co-founder Meghan Stokes, have each been local residents for more than 30 years. They’ve now also become local experts on the new short-term rental regulations, specifically the self-certification form that all homeowners must fill out and sign as part of the permit application.
Here are some of the top reasons they believe the average do-it-yourself vacation homeowner might need this kind of expert guidance through the process.
Certification of compliance required
Both Truckee and Placer County require that owners certify in writing prior to permit issuance that they are in compliance with the new rules. This includes things like having the right type and quantity of fire safety equipment, defensible space requirements, BBQ placement, building code compliance, parking and garbage storage to name a few. Klei and Stokes believe many homeowners could end up misrepresenting some of the points on the form if they don’t fully understand the requirements. Even worse, they think many homeowners may not even know the rules exist or are too overwhelmed to get permits at all.
“People aren’t understanding how important it is that they take care of this,” Stokes said. “It’s a law — you can get fined and you can lose the right to rent your house at all.”
Non Compliant homes identified by specialized company
It might be tempting to avoid the paperwork and hassle due to the complexity, cost or amount of time it would take to get into compliance, but the risks of getting caught have increased.
Both Truckee and Placer have contracted with a third party company to identify unpermitted STRs. Those without the permit will be subjected to potentially significant fines.
Permit requires a local contact person
One of the most significant requirements in these short-term rental permits is an always-available local contact. This person has to be available by phone within a specific time frame, 24/7, and able to resolve complaints immediately. In Placer County as an example, the local contact must be able to be physically present at the rental within 30 to 60 minutes of a complaint.
ManageHome is fulfilling this requirement as a service to its customers for less than $29 per month, which could save homeowners big money in the long run.
“Fines are as high as $500 per day for each violation, and up to $1,000 per day for subsequent violations, but the even bigger risk is termination of the permit after a number of violations” Klei said.
Health and safety
The Town of Truckee and Placer County aren’t implementing these regulations for the money, Klei said. There’s an essential health and safety aspect to these regulations. The fees are basically covering the increased costs.
“If all of these things are done right, ManageHome can reduce homeowners’ liability,” he said. “If a homeowner self-certified, but they didn’t have the right smoke detectors yet thought they did, that’s a huge problem. You can’t skip or misrepresent a single detail on these permitting forms.”
Stokes added that the fire departments are in full support of these regulations for the safety of our local communities. Fire departments will be required to perform periodic compliance checks for both in-home safety and outdoor defensible space.
If you go to a hotel, there are certain expectations about the health and safety of that place. This is no different,” Klei said.
Being a good neighbor
Klei said that one of the reasons these STR regulations are being pushed is that the guests in some of these vacation rental homes have been a nuisance for neighbors who, for example, find themselves dealing with loud partying, strewn garbage, cars parked all over or other issues.
“Besides health and safety, these regulations speak to the desire for positive community relationships and neighbor relationships,” he said. “Hopefully the framework for these rules will go a long way towards those relationships.”
Protecting the local economy
South Lake Tahoe is moving toward an outright ban of short-term rentals, and many second-home owners around North Lake Tahoe are fearful that could happen here, Stokes said. “It affects their income and the whole economy,” she said. “Ideally, these regulations are in place and work in order to keep that (short-term rental income) as an option up here.”
With services such as ManageHome that help get homeowners fully compliant with the law, Klei and Stokes hope to help protect the long-term viability of short-term rentals and the overall positive impact to the economy throughout the region.
“Everyone who has a short-term rental has to do this or we’ll all get penalized,” Klei said, “so we have to all pay attention to this.”
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