Let ManageHome take the stress out of owning a short-term rental
ManageHome co-founders Meghan Stokes and Steven Klei, who each have been local residents for more than 30 years, started the business to help do-it-yourself vacation homeowners become compliant with new short-term rental (STR) regulations. ManageHome is a Truckee-based business that provides step-by-step guidance through the STR permitting process. It also provides services required under the new regulations, including serving as a homeowner’s local contact starting at just $29 per month.
If you own a Short Term Rental (STR) in the Truckee or Tahoe area, you probably know that your responsibilities as an owner are about to drastically increase. But fear not, Meghan Stokes and Steven Klei of ManageHomes are here to help!
STRs have become a flash point in various areas of the country. These lodging alternatives seem to be a win-win for everyone involved; they bring in tourism, which brings dollars to the communities where they are located, and helps people to offset the cost of owning and maintaining a second home, while the visitors get a more authentic experience in the places they are staying. But some people disagree, saying that STRs overcrowd the resources in the area and help to drive up the cost of housing.
While they might be in the minority, some guests at STRs have acted irresponsibly; having loud parties on quiet streets that last well into the night, scattering trash around properties that they do not remove, and in some cases posing fire hazards and creating parking issues for local residents. In fact, there were so many of these types of issues in El Dorado County that they are reducing the amount of STRs in that region from 4,000 down to 400; a 90% drop. Communities around the country, and particularly around Tahoe, are enacting regulations to try to curb these abuses of neighborhoods while still allowing STRs to operate.
Locally, the city of Truckee and Placer County have implemented a permitting process that goes into effect on March 31, 2021, and all STR owners are required to fill out these forms and pay a fee of $300-400 to continue to operate. The forms are quite involved, which has left some STR owners feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. However, for a small fee, ManageHome can take care of the entire process and ensure that everything is submitted correctly and on time.
“There is a lot of work that is involved up front for the permit, which involves lots of inspections, a 14-point checklist, and various other items that can be time consuming. As an owner you have to certify the form in order to get your permit. Soon after you have submitted your permit application, the Fire Department comes out to make sure it is right. We help people with all of that,” explained Stokes. “Some feedback I’ve received from clients is the overwhelming amount of information within the regulations. For most people it and it just seems like too much to absorb, let alone properly implement. We have learned the ins and outs of this process, and can take care of everything, including paying the registration fee. Let us handle it for you. This is what we do, and no one does it better. Sure you could do it yourself, but do you want to?”
One of the requirements in the permit is to identify in advance a local contact person who can be in the house or call within 30-60 minutes. In Placer that contact has to be there in person, but in Truckee they only have to be on the phone within 30 minutes, but if the house has a problem, the contact has to physically be there within 45 minutes. That local contact piece you cannot do that yourself unless you live in the area. For only $29 a month, ManageHome can be your contact person who will take care of those compliance calls; even if they come in at 2 a.m.
Another issue that these permits address is fire safety and mitigation measures; an important consideration in these areas that are in high fire danger zones. The local Fire Department is completely on board with the registration process because it allows them to go to these properties and ensure that the fire safe defensible space is done.
Starting March 31, penalties are going to start being imposed on people that don’t have their STR permit. Placer County and the City of Truckee have the right to start fining you if you don’t have the STR permit by that time. The fines are $500 per day until resolved for the first offese, $1000/day for the second offense, and a third complaint can lose your permit for a year. “The grace period is over. You really have to get it done,” Klei said. “It’s a small investment to have us handle this process for you, and it could save thousands of dollars and countless headaches.”
And if you live out of the area, having that local contact who can take care of issues right away is priceless. There are 4,400 STRs operating in the Tahoe/Truckee region, and Truckee estimates that 30% of their general revenue comes from STRs. Some people even use STRs as their main source of income, so being out of compliance could cost them their livelihood.
Property management companies charge 40% to take care of all aspects of managing a STR, and that is not what ManageHome does. They help with the permitting process, and can also serve as that local contact in case compliance calls come in any time of the day or night. They also go in before and after you have a renter to make sure everything is in order or discover something like a fire pit that a guest built illegally in the back yard. This check in/check out is an extra service ManageHome offers to help you keep your house in compliance between inspections.
ManageHome’s reasonable rates help the owners keep more of their STR income in their own pocket. Their most expensive package, which includes taking care of the entire permitting process, including paying the registration fee, is only $1950 a year; a small price to pay for peace of mind. “It brings the homeowner a huge sense of relief to know that the guests are following the rules and everything is on the up and up. It is a great comfort to the homeowners,” Stokes said. “We want people to be at ease; that it’s okay that they live in Hawaii, we will be there if they need us.”
To learn more about ManageHome’s services, or for a free quote, visit https://www.managehome.net/
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