The Vail Town Council has given final approval to an ordinance that adds additional regulations to the town’s short-term rental requirements. The new requirements become effective March 1. In voting unanimously to approve Ordinance No. 15 at its Dec. 5 meeting, the council made a significant amendment to the legislation, removing a provision that would have required written consent of a duplex neighbor where there are shared common areas accessible to both parties.
The previously proposed consent provision drew criticism from several council members as well as some of the citizens who testified during a public hearing, suggesting that a neighbor’s ability to veto a short-term rental application was excessive. Instead, the new regulations will require a courtesy notification of a duplex neighbor’s intent to short-term rent the adjoining unit. Should a rental’s license be later revoked, written consent from a duplex neighbor would need to be provided to re-instate the license after a two-year waiting period.
In voting to approve the ordinance, the Town Council also added a requirement that each short-term rental owner appoint a local agent who lives within a 60-minute response time of the property. The agent is to be available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
Other provisions of the new STR regulations are as follows:
- STR licenses have an application process and must be renewed each calendar year. STR licenses will be issued to the owner of the property and are not transferrable. With the sale of a property, a new license would need to be applied for by the new owner. A transfer of property will only quality for a new license if fair market value is exchanged and the town’s Real Estate Transfer Tax is paid.
- Properties with full time onsite property managers will be exempt from this type of license. They will retain the lodging business license currently used today. Examples of these properties include hotels, lodges, “condo-tels,” fractional fee club units, etc. However, if an owner rents their unit on their own, and not through the lodge/condo-tel management company, they would be required to obtain their own individual STR license.
- The posting of a Vail sales tax account number on all advertisements and remittance of sales and lodging taxes.
- An affidavit for each rented unit to be signed by the licensee to acknowledge trash, noise and parking regulations as well as verifying life-safety precautions are in place and compliance with HOA rules.
- Initial complaints would be directed to the property contact for an opportunity to respond. Any complaint not resolved within 60 minutes, or within 30 minutes if the problem occurs between 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. will be considered a violation.
- A requirement to conspicuously post the license number, street address and property contact information in the interior of the short-term rental unit.
- Violations of the town’s current noise, trash/recycling, building code, fire code, parking and occupancy regulations would be documented and tracked by staff. If an initial complaint is not resolved by the property contact, a complaint may be filed with the town. Owners would then receive written notification from town staff.
- If there are three or more notices of violations issued for the same short-term rental property within a 12 month period, the town could revoke the license upon written notice to the owner. The owner could appeal and request an administrative hearing.
By delaying implementation until March 1, the town will be using the time for notification and education of owners and property managers, plus implementation of a software solution and creation of a process to manage complaints and administrative hearings.
For more information, visit vailgov.com/short-term-rentals or contact Kathleen Halloran, finance director, at 970-479-2116.