New VHR regulations now in effect in South Lake Tahoe |

New VHR regulations now in effect in South Lake Tahoe

Staff Report

A slew of changes to the vacation home rental ordinance, including a three-strikes rule for violations, went into effect in South Lake Tahoe on Friday, Dec. 22.

After a dozen public meetings, City Council finally approved amendments to the vacation home rental (VHR) ordinance on Nov. 21. Thirty days later, those changes are now law.

In addition to implementing a cap of 1,400 VHR permits in residential areas outside the tourist core, the revised ordinance increased fines from $250 to $1,000 for both the renter and property owner. Warnings are no longer issued for violations, and properties that receive three citations within two years will have their permits revoked. (These rules do not apply to VHRs within the zoned tourist area.)

VHR property owners also could lose their permit for non-payment, underpayment or late payment of transient occupancy tax (TOT). A new web monitoring service will scan short-term rental sites like VRBO and Airbnb to ensure properties are permitted and paying TOT.

Notices have been sent out to VHR owners alerting them to these changes.

Three additional full-time VHR enforcement officers also have been hired, bringing the total to six full-time, VHR-specific enforcement personnel.

To alleviate trash issues, VHRs are now required to have a bear box, ranging in size based on the square footage of the home. Property owners have until July 31 to install one.

Currently, there are around 1,850 VHR permits in South Lake Tahoe, roughly 1,400 of which are outside the tourist core in residential areas.