The City Council of South Lake Tahoe implemented new restrictions and fines to their Vacation Home Rental Ordinance that took effect on December 22, 2017. Two of the most significant changes to the ordinance include the elimination of warnings to owners and guests and a minimum $1,000 fine per violation for both the property owner and the guest (fines were previously $250).
In addition to the new regulations, the City Council approved six new VHR code enforcement officer positions and hired Host Compliance, to assist with enforcement.
During the first weekend the ordinance was in place, eight violations were issued. Noise violations were expected to dominate the list of violations, but of the eight violations issued, only 1 included a noise violation. The others were for cars parked illegally or too many cars parked on the property, over-occupancy, and one for not having a VHR permit.
Updates to the VHR Ordinance include;
- There will no longer be warnings. All code violations to the VHR Ordinance will result in a minimum $1,000 fine to both the owner or the property and the renter of the home.
- If a VHR receives three fines within a 24 month period, they will lose their VHR permit. The cap on VHRs outside of the Tourist Core area will be 1,400 homes.
- Parking at VHRs is limited to the garage and the paved driveway. Vehicles are not allowed to park on the streets of VHRs.
- No excessive noise is allowed between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am. (Hot tub use is not allowed during these hours.)
- Bear boxes must be installed in all VHRs by July 31st, 2018.
- Camping is prohibited on VHR properties.
- The owner of the VHR is required to inform their guest renters of the requirement to comply with all aspects of the City’s VHR Ordinance.
If the homeowner or management company makes the initial call on renters not abiding by the rules, they will not be held responsible or receive a fine.
“The new ordinance will make our jobs easier. By changing the culture of the guests’ behavior it will benefit the families next door, property managers and property owners.” said Carl Fair, Partner of Buckingham Luxury Vacation Rentals. “This is the first New Year’s Eve that I have not gotten a call in the middle of the night.”
The new ordinance has helped a little! But I have seen a influx of VHR owners using out of area outlets or OTAs who really do not understand the rules. Sure some of OTAs have a few staff members in town, but even they are not accessible when it comes down to complaints. VHR owners need to stick with local management companies that know the ins and outs. As for the New Years weekend, I counted 40+ calls on the South Shore. Not sure if they received fines or not? Will have to go back to the city website and look at each one.