Tag: halt

Chicago Bans 1-Night Rentals to Halt Parties. Should Your Vacation Rental Have a Minimum Stay?

Vacation property owners who rent their homes out on sites like Airbnb and VRBO take on a certain level of risk — namely, that their properties will sustain damage when renting to guests. This risk is particularly elevated when guests opt to rent a home for a one-night stay to throw a blowout party.

That happened over the summer in New Jersey, when police had to bust up a house party at an Airbnb rental with over 700 guests crammed into it. Not only do gatherings like this pose the potential for property damage, but there’s the not-so-minor matter of the coronavirus pandemic to consider as well. Large gatherings increase the risk of the dangerous virus spreading, and many states have capacity limits in place in an attempt to avoid having the outbreak worsen.

But one city is going out of its way to help ensure rental properties aren’t used for party purposes. Chicago has officially banned single-night rentals for properties listed on Airbnb and similar sites. While this new restriction is temporary, it could be adopted by other cities in an effort to keep the pandemic at bay.

Should your vacation home have a minimum stay?

Though Airbnb has a policy banning parties, it’s not always so easy to enforce. One way you can prevent parties at your rental, however, is to impose a minimum stay. After all, if someone wants to rent your home just to host a shindig and you impose a five-night minimum stay, that guest is unlikely to want to pay for those extra four nights. As such, imposing a minimum could help you avoid your rental being invaded by partygoers who cause damage beyond what your security deposit covers.

But could imposing a minimum stay hurt you? If you’re renting a home in a city, quite possibly. Guests often want a crash pad for a night or two in a major metro area, and by insisting on a longer minimum stay, you might lose out on business — and income. In fact, aside from the month of August, one-night listings on Airbnb earn an average 17% more revenue throughout the year than those with longer minimums, reports AirDNA.

Therefore, if you’re trying to decide whether it pays to impose a minimum stay for your vacation home, think about your property’s location and the clientele you’re most likely to cater to. If you own a beach house that sees rental traffic primarily during the summer, for example, it could actually work to your benefit to impose a seven-night minimum stay with a standard check-in/check-out day (say, Saturday). This could help avoid rental gaps and maximize your limited season. But if you own a property in a big city likely to see demand anytime, a shorter minimum could be a smart move.

The bottom line

Ultimately, though, pay attention to the laws your city sets. If more vacation home guests are found to be renting properties on a short-term basis for party-throwing purposes, we could see

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Vacation-rental agencies asked to halt bookings for Pitkin County, Aspen properties | News

After receiving information that some people recently booked vacation rentals in the area and then sought medical treatment for coronavirus-like symptoms, Pitkin County’s Incident Management Team reiterated on Tuesday that the latest public health order bans short-term lodging.

Those who violate the order could face misdemeanor charges leading to fines and/or jail time. Officials also contacted vacation-rental agencies VRBO and Airbnb to inform them not to accept nonresident bookings of short-term rentals within county boundaries. 

“We’ve gotten some information recently to lead us to believe that there are still some companies accepting short-term rentals and reservations, like VRBO and Airbnb. We’ve issued a letter to both of those companies today to ask that they stop accepting them per the Pitkin County public health order,” said Alex Burchetta, IMT spokesperson and chief deputy of operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

“Specifically, they are not to accept any new reservations and they are to cancel any existing reservations,” he continued. “The intent there is to allow nonresidents of Pitkin County to return to their primary [place] of residence.” 

Burchetta said the county doesn’t have the capacity from a public health and safety standpoint to handle an influx of visitors.

“As much as we love them … we love having you here, but just not now,” he said. 

Being at an elevation of around 8,000 feet puts undue stress on a person’s immune system and health, he said. Small and less-noticeable illnesses can be exacerbated by the altitude. While the area has excellent health care providers and systems, would-be visitors might have access to a wider range of health services within their own communities, Burchetta said.

Section L of Pitkin County’s public health order issued on March 23 states, “There shall be no new bookings or reservations during the pendency of this Order. Furthermore, current reservations for the timeframe anticipated in this Order shall be cancelled for all short-term lodging, including but not limited to hotels, motels, short-term rentals (30 days or less), bed and breakfast establishments, lodges and retreats.”

Burchetta said officials were alerted by Aspen Valley Hospital doctors that nonresidents who recently booked vacation rentals in Aspen sought treatment Monday of “some symptoms” not necessarily associated with COVID-19. 

He said he didn’t know how many people were involved in presenting those symptoms to the hospital. Even if it were just two people who got short-term rentals since the order was issued, “it still represents two too many,” Burchetta said. 

“We started [notifications] with the global short-term rental market” like VRBO and Airbnb, he said. “Pitkin County and the Colorado mountain communities are not a place of refuge as they are most other times of the year. …We don’t have the ability to handle the increased capacity.”

Those who fail to comply with provisions of the order, including the mandate banning short-term vacation lodging, may be subject to misdemeanor charges and fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to 18 months of jail time.

“We’re just trying to reinforce [the order],”

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