Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions 2016-10-27T09:47:51+00:00
How Do I Know if My Neighborhood Is Already Infected with Short-Term Rentals? 2016-10-27T09:50:37+00:00

While there are thousands of websites dedicated to advertising short-term rentals, AirBnB is so popular that it can be used as an indicator of infection.  Below are the steps for locating short-term rentals near an address.

  1. Go to AirBnB.com.
  2. In the “Where to?” box, enter your home address.  Leave the “Check In”, Check Out” and “Guests” boxes alone.
  3. Click Search
  4. The page that appears will have a pin at the address.  Important: The map only shows 10 rentals at a time.  Look for the number of rentals listed above the photos.
  5. On the map, you will see a + and -.  Click them to zoom in and out.  Notice how the number of rentals changes.
  6. Check the “Entire home/apt” box if you want to narrow your search by Room Type.
What is a Short-Term Rental? 2016-08-15T14:03:27+00:00

A short-term rental is the rental of an entire residential dwelling (condo, house, apartment, granny flat, etc.) for less than 30 days.

What is a Home Share? 2016-08-15T14:04:05+00:00

A home share is when an owner rents a portion of their residential dwelling to one set (booking) of people at a time for less than 30 days and an owner is onsite for the entire stay.

What is a Bed and Breakfast (BnB)? 2016-08-15T14:06:18+00:00

A Bed and Breakfast is when an owner rents a portion of their residential dwelling to multiple sets (bookings) of people at a time for less than 30 days and an owner or manager is onsite for the entire stay.  Serving breakfast is not required.

How do short-term rentals disrupt and displace families? 2016-08-15T16:12:40+00:00

Living next door to a house that changes occupants every few days is disruptive.

Every time a house is converted into a short-term rental, prospective long-term occupants are displaced.

How do short-term rentals threaten schools, churches and youth organizations? 2016-08-15T16:13:51+00:00

Short-term renters do not attend local schools and churches.  They also don’t join clubs, sports and scouting organizations while at the rental.  Last, they are unable to help with neighborhood watch.

Why are short-term rentals often illegal? 2016-08-20T14:22:09+00:00

The use of almost all residential property is regulated based on zoning laws.  Most zoning laws for residential neighborhoods work by stating uses that are allowed.  It is extremely rare to see transient visitor accommodations with stay durations of less than 30 days listed as an allowed use.  Therefore, short-term rentals are often illegal.

Illegal sort-term rentals proliferate in areas where zoning laws are not effectively enforced.

Why do landlords choose short-term renters over long-term renters? 2016-08-15T14:07:58+00:00

Money.  Landlords can make a lot more renting short-term because they are competing with hotels instead of long-term rental properties.

Don’t cities benefit from Transient Occupancy Tax on STRs? 2016-08-15T14:56:21+00:00

Some do.  The problem is that short-term rentals require more from public services than long-term rentals.  Trash, policing, regulating, and similar city costs increase thereby decreasing the net financial benefit to the city.  

Also, STRs lower the amount of taxes paid by hotel occupants.  This is because STRs add visitor accommodation inventory to the city.  The increased inventory reduces taxes generated by hotels.

How can a city accept Transient Occupancy Tax on STRs and not consider them to be businesses in residential zones? 2016-08-15T15:06:14+00:00

We have yet to see a defensible explanation for this.

Why can’t people use their property the way that they want? This is a free country. 2016-08-15T14:33:52+00:00

When someone purchases in a single-family or multifamily zone, they accept the rules of that zone.  They do not have the right to turn their home into a motel (transient zoning), a restaurant, or a factory to the detriment of everyone else in that zone.

Won’t short-term rentals will go “underground” if they are prohibited? 2016-08-15T14:38:15+00:00

Some will.  Those violators will be easy to find because they need to advertise their illegal operation to profit.  Most will obey they law just like the rest of society and find long-term renters.

Won’t my CC&R or HOA by-laws protect me? 2016-08-15T14:54:17+00:00

It is possible if they are worded correctly and you are willing incur the expense of going to court to enforce them.  We recommend having a real estate attorney review them and provide a written opinion.

What if a community wants short-term rentals? 2016-08-15T14:34:56+00:00

We believe in democracy and the rule of law.  If a community votes to permit STRs, we respect their decision.  To ensure that the decision is fair to all, we suggest a ballot measure that changes the zoning laws for all residential neighborhoods in the city to permit transient visitor accommodations.  This will ensure that every residential YES voter knows that a short-term rental may move next door no matter where they live.