You’re excited by the possibilities of renting your home. Creating a large stream of income with an asset you already own could be a real game-changer for you. The opportunity is incredible, but there are some things you need to know. Especially if your home is up here in fire and bear country!
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve purchased a home specifically for this purpose, have inherited a second home that you’re going to turn into an Airbnb or a VRBO, or have decided to use your own home while you do some traveling. You’re putting a lot on the line by entering the rental market unless you have local cohosting support.
Every guest you bring represents a risk.
Will your guests put away their garbage properly, or will the bears scatter trash all over the property? Will they abide by the fire rules, or will they turn your home into a major wildfire risk?
Will they treat your home with respect, or will they trash it? Break furniture or windows? Have the wild party you expressly asked them not to have?
While you have some recourse when things go wrong, fixing these problems can take time and money. While both Airbnb and VRBO offer some tools for screening guests, you just never know. Even a normally-conscientious guest who isn’t from fire or bear country could get distracted and make a mistake.
If you’re not careful, your neighbors can get angry.
Guests who act badly can disturb locals or long-term residents who live and work here, and pile on resentments about the ways that STRs can impact the local cost of living. One way to handle this is to work closely with your neighbors and to ensure they have someone to call when there’s trouble.
Local regulations already demand a local point of contact (see below), but you actually want to introduce yourself and give them your number so they know they can get in touch with you right away, or have your representative do so.
Be sure you educate your guest on how to be a good guest. Most people want to be a good guest but can often be thoughtless or inconsiderate without a few reminders.
Renting your home comes with a long to-do list, especially here in Truckee/Tahoe.
A lot of people aren’t sure how recycling works when they get here. Note: you can put all the recycling in with the trash but it’s more cost-effective if you have your guests separate it. Put out receptacles for garbage and recycling, label them clearly, and add information on recycling into your guest binder.
Bears and Trash
This is a big one. This video does a great job of explaining what you and your guests need to do.
During the spring, summer, and fall months the Truckee area becomes prone to wildfires. Be sure to educate your guests about the flag warning systems. They should be taught how to check it and be advised to avoid use of the fire pit or grill during those times.
Both you and your renters will need to be very proactive about fire prevention. During fire season:
- Smoking outside should be prohibited.
- Prohibit charcoal, grease fires, smokers, egg grills.
- You’ll need a burn permit to burn yard waste.
- You should avoid using chainsaws during red flag days.
- Use of lawnmowers should be avoided during the heat of the day and when the wind is blowing.
- Place your grills on asphalt grill pads.
- Ensure hoses are around the house.
- Create defensible space by trimming trees away from your home.
- Dispose of paints and stains correctly.
Guests should also be educated about which evacuation zone their rental is located in.
STR Certification in the Nevada County Town of Truckee
There are county ordinances, HOA ordinances if you’re in an HOA-controlled area like Tahoe Donner, and state laws to navigate.
You even have to share those requirements with residents. You’ll need to put all the information in a binder to show to your guests.
- Apply for a transient occupancy registration certificate here. There’s a $400 fee.
- You’ll find a full list of ordinances here. Note that your neighbors can call town authorities on you if these ordinances are being broken!
- Here are your local fire code and safety requirements.
- A full schedule of fees and penalties.
- Transient occupancy tax rates.
STR Information for Placer County
Here is the information for Placer County.
- Rules for vacation rentals in Placer County.
- How to apply for a short-term rental permit in Placer County.
- The Short-Term Rental Permit Exemption Guide. This tells you which properties are exempt from the requirements.
- Ordinances for Placer County.
- For your binders: “Tips for Being a Good Neighbor During Your Stay.”
- Quick rules regarding bear bins, pets, off-street parking, and more. Another good one for your binder.
- A safety-self certification form is meant to help you ensure safe rentals.
- Here is a trash notification that would be a useful addition to your renter’s binder.
The industry is getting more regulated in Nevada.
Are you renting in Washoe County? If you think that you’re going to be able to enter a regulation-free industry, think again. Nevada has just passed new short-term rental laws. There’s a 45-day ban on renting going on as of this writing while lawmakers work to standardize rules for STRs. That means it’s going to get a lot more like the hotel industry. Plenty of other cities and states are working hard to regulate Airbnbs as well.
New regulations went into effect July 1st, 2021. This law requires:
- STR owners pay hotel sales tax on rentals.
- Owners to get an STR permit.
- Designate a local representative for the rental who must be available 24/7 to respond to issues.
- Maintain liability coverage for the unit.
- Set a minimum stay of 2 nights, excluding owner-occupied properties where you’re renting out a room or a portion of the house.
- Establish a minimum distance of 660 feet between any two short-term rentals, except units in a multi-family dwelling.
- Requires a separation of 2,500 feet between the property line of a resort hotel and a short-term rental that is a single-family residence.
- Caps the percentage of allowed short-term rentals in multi-family dwellings at 10%.
- Prohibits apartments from being used as STRs.
Your own county may also have requirements.
Cohosting can make renting much easier.
If all this sounds like a lot, cohosting services can help. We can help with the permitting, the fire safety, and even by serving as your 24/7 representative for your rental home. Contact us today to find out what we can do to increase your profits while making your experience of owning a vacation rental more pleasant, easier, and a lot more fun.