In a gentrifying neighborhood of San Francisco, a couple exit their cab and head toward an apartment, rolling suitcases behind them. Unbeknownst to them, a private investigator by the name of Michael Joffe sits in his parked car just across the street, discreetly snapping pictures. This is not a divorce case waiting to happen or an international spy caper. Nothing that salacious or mysterious. It is instead an episode that provides a window into how bitter the feud between struggling tenants and home-sharing websites like Airbnb Inc. has become. Joffe works for a tenant lawyer who in turns represents a family that was evicted from their apartment — the one that the couple was entering that day.
The new year will bring the first threat of fines under Denver’s new vacation rental rules, and there appear to be plenty of potential targets. Six months into the city’s roll-out of short-term rental licensing, most people who rent rooms or homes on online services such as Airbnb and VRBO still have not gotten on board. That’s not a surprise. San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and other cities similarly have struggled to get most hosts to start collecting lodging taxes and obtain a license or permit. Such lags often persist for years.But next week, Denver licensing officials will begin holding out the threat of fines — topping out at $999 for repeated violations — though they say violations still will be met first with a warning.
“The new ordinance regarding the 20-day section was just passed late Thursday night. Up until now that has not been part of the code. Our directors and City Attorney are working on interpretation, I have meetings scheduled this week for clarifications. I may not have solid answers until sometime next week as our admin team works through this process this upcoming week.”
A little more than one year ago, the Boulder City Council passed a new ordinance to govern short-term rentals, such as Airbnb and VRBO, which required that property owners have a license to rent to visitors.
On Thursday night, the City Council — much maligned for what many perceive as a lax approach to enforcement of neighborhood laws — approved a slate of changes to the ordinance they hope hold short-term rental owners even more accountable for their properties.
“The message we got from council was that you wanted proactive enforcement and you wanted a lot of it,” City Attorney Tom Carr said. The number of investigations carried out since June, he added, “is a lot.”
City Council passed a modified short term rental ordinance, November 10, 2016.
Read the new version here: Short Term Rental Ordinance
Can you have a residential neighborhood without having residential neighbors? That’s a basic question that the city has caused our little neighborhood at the western fringe of University Hill to confront.We are zoned R-1… The occupancy limit in this zone is no more than three unrelated people… Yet in our midst sits a single-suite hotel allowed by the city’s short-term rental ordinance.
According to its listing on VRBO, this hotel suite can accommodate up to 15 people. For the whole shebang the rates start at $745 a night, with a two-night minimum required on some weekends. According to the listing, the hotel is reserved about 85 percent of every month…