Vacation Rentals: Straight From The Horses’ Mouths

photo01[Alvin Brickman for Metrosetter Wire]

Courtesy of, after the jump are some interesting perspectives on the vacation rental debate from individuals right in the thick of it. The quoted individuals below all hail from Dana Point, California, a city that is currently discussing the issue of less-than-30-day rentals.

As we reported earlier, 56 percent of 400 Dana Point residents said in a 2012 survey that homeowners should be allowed to rent out their properties short-term. But, while rentals of less than 30 days are currently illegal, the city lacks a system of enforcement. So, with no other choice, the city will probably end up permitting vacation rentals vis-a-vis the implementation of a transient occupancy tax which will in turn, and in theory, fund a system for their regulation.

The lesson? — Don’t waste your time or breath crusading for full-on prohibition as there’s no money to enforce such prohibition in the first place. (And they’re likely already prohibited!)

The quotes:

mgunih-b781052752z.120130118173650000gju1c494s “I think there’s got to be some kind of regulation. Otherwise, when you have an owner that’s not responsible, what do you do if you have this constant (problem) next door? Who do you complain to? … That is my biggest concern.”

mgunih-b781052752z.120130118173650000gju1c4974 “It’s all families … they come from everywhere and they bring their children. It’s very expensive ($1,500 to $5,000 a week). These are professional people who are a lot richer than I am – they’re attorneys and doctors. … They come and then they come back because they love it so much.”

mgunii-b781052752z.120130118173650000gju1c497e “I understand that there are some people (whom) this is a pretty good moneymaker for them. But I can also understand that there’s always some (renters) that, like they said, come home at 3 o’clock in the morning and make noise and everything else.”

mgunii-b781052752z.120130118173650000gju1c497i “I would say 10 out of 10 people who … deal with vacation rentals have some kind of a rental agreement, and that agreement holds them accountable. … There is already built-in accountability without the government’s help.”

mgunij-b781052752z.120130118173650000gju1c499p “Any ad online (for vacation rentals) …instead of ‘Vacation rental – come party,’ I’d like to see ‘You’re coming into a neighborhood.’”

mgunij-b781052752z.120130118173650000gju1c499s These units should be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, with all the regulations they have. … The fire department should be involved, the health department should be involved, there should be a number of agencies (involved). The city thinks that one part-time employee can take care of this. I guarantee you it’s gonna be a whole department and there will be a lot of money going out on this issue. … We want not to restrict them or regulate them but for the city to act responsibly and not allow them.”

Josh Francis, “Residents air conflicting views of Dana Point vacation rentals“:

Dana Point residents had a chance to air their concerns about short-term residential vacation rentals during a Civic Association meeting Friday.

The informal meeting at Dana Point Harbor featured Assistant City Manager Mike Killebrew, who addressed questions about the controversial topic, which has pitted residents concerned about property owners’ rights against those worried about noise, trash and other problems associated with out-of-towners’ rentals of local homes.

In November, the City Council voted to direct staff to come up with a draft ordinance on how to regulate such rentals. Killebrew told about 50 people at Friday’s meeting that no city ordinance addresses rentals of fewer than 30 days but that they are considered illegal. However, there is no enforcement of the restriction.

The city is leaning toward regulations that would enable the city to collect a transient occupancy tax from short-term residential renters – a 10 percent tax usually imposed on hotel guests.

According to a city report in November, the city would make $400,000 annually by adding taxes. The only council member to oppose such regulations was Lara Anderson, who is no longer on the council.

Several vacation-home owners made their case Friday for allowing short-term rentals, and other residents shared why they believe short-term renters are a nuisance the city needs to deal with.


Beth Everett of Laguna Niguel, who rents out three Dana Point condominiums to out-of-town visitors, said she screens her renters and never rents to people who she feels will cause problems. She said she never gets complaints from neighbors.

One of Everett’s renters also attended the meeting. Joanie Smith, who lives near Washington, D.C., said she has been visiting Dana Point the past three years and has had $42,000 in expenses related to renting her unit from Everett.

She said comes to Dana Point because it is “quiet and remote” and said she wasn’t aware short-term rentals were considered a problem.

Everett said she would be willing to go along with regulations but said banning something that has gone on for 25 years would hurt the city.

Another resident said property owners should have the right to do what they want with their homes.

A 2012 survey said that 56 percent of 400 residents said owners should be allowed to rent out their properties short-term; 32 percent were opposed.


Some residents said they are fed up with short-term renters and told Killebrew they want them gone.

Gary Clark, a 38-year Capistrano Beach resident, said he has to deal with new renters every five days in his neighborhood.

“It’s important to call these what they are – these are not vacation rentals, these are motels,” Clark said.

Another resident asked where funding would come from to pay for additional staff to enforce regulations and pay for public safety and other services if new regulations allow an “explosion” of new rental properties.

Killebrew said levying the transient occupancy tax on renters “would more than offset that.”


Killebrew said he would take all the comments from the meeting to city staff and the City Council.

There is no date set for when the council will bring up the issue again. The topic has been discussed since 2007, when the city held an informational meeting.


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