County Adopts Rules for Short-Term Rentals
RIVERSIDE – Rules aimed at protecting county residents from adverse effects of short-term rentals were adopted Tuesday by a 4-1 vote of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. The ordinance applies to unincorporated areas of Riverside County and will take effect in 30 days.
The ordinance establishes regulations for the use of privately owned residential dwellings as short-term rentals for any period less than 30 consecutive days. Also referred to as “vacation rentals,” these lodging accommodations are a growing component of the tourism industry and real estate market in the Coachella Valley and throughout Riverside County.
“As it has become increasingly frequent for tourists to rent houses for vacations, most cities in the Coachella Valley have adopted proper rules, and adjacent county areas such as Bermuda Dunes were left without reasonable regulations,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “This ordinance includes provisions that are easy to comply with to preserve the peace and quiet of neighborhoods from the occasional troublesome visitor.”
The short-term rental ordinance directs owners to give their guests the county’s “good neighbor brochure,” detailing county ordinances already in place to minimize excessive noise, disorderly conduct, traffic, litter and other disturbances of the peace. Owners will be required to post contact information for a designated local person available to respond within 60 minutes of being notified of problems and take remedial action to resolve complaints.
Prior to renting or advertising short-term rental, owners need to obtain a short-term rental certificate from the Riverside County Planning Department and pay a first-time registration fee of $250. The annual registration renewal fee is $100. Notice will be given to neighboring properties about the use of a residence as a short-term rental. The registration fees will offset the county’s cost of hiring an outside management company to administer and enforce this ordinance.
Under the county’s existing transient occupancy tax (TOT) ordinance, short-term rental owners are required to collect a 10 percent tax from renters and submit that payment to the Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector. The short-term rental ordinance clarifies that the county’s TOT ordinance applies to all short-term rentals, ensuring the collection and payment of transient occupancy taxes.
“I appreciate that this ordinance will enhance the quality of life for many surrounding property owners while ensuring that precious county revenues for services to residents are protected,” said Supervisor Chuck Washington, who co-authored the ordinance with Benoit.
In September 2015, the Board of Supervisors adopted a “multiple response” ordinance, co authored by Benoit and Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, to curb extremely loud and unruly gatherings. The multiple response ordinance gave the Sheriff’s Department the ability to declare these gatherings “public nuisances,” subject to fines and billings for the law enforcement costs associated with repeated visits. Together, with the short-term rental ordinance, these ordinances will help protect nearby residents from being bothered with disturbances of the peace through late hours.