July 21, 2017

Carlsbad to crack down on unauthorized vacation rentals

Stock Photo - Waving flag with Airbnb logo. Editorial 3D rendering
Copyright: moovstock / 123RF Stock Photo

Carlsbad is hiring an outside service to help monitor short-term vacation rentals. (Union-Tribune file photo by Don Boomer) plans to hire an outside company to help enforce a 2015 city law regulating vacation rentals in the coastal tourist town.

The city is one of dozens across the states struggling to get a handle on short-term rentals, which have proliferated with the advent of websites like Airbnb and VRBO. Passing an ordinance is the first step; getting property owners to comply with it comes next.

Of the more than 2,100 properties listed as vacation rentals in Carlsbad, only about 340 have obtained the required city permits, officials said.

“It’s been slow going,” said Carlsbad Housing and Neighborhood Services Director Debbie Fountain.

Without adequate resources to search out the non-compliant properties, many cities are turning to outside contractors like San Francisco-based Host Compliance.

Founded in 2015 by Harvard MBA graduate Ulrik Binzer, the company uses online sources to help cities identify all short-term rentals, monitor registration and tax compliance, and uncover any fraudulent practices.“It’s sort of like we give the code enforcement staff a tool to make them more effective at their job,” Binzer said in a phone interview Wednesday. He declined to discuss the exact […]

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