City Starts Crack Down On Illegal Rentals

There is an interesting story in this week’s Saratoga Today about code enforcement for illegal rentals in Saratoga Springs.  Link To Article

In the age of Airbnb and VRBO.COM homeowners are increasingly renting out their houses.  As someone who has used VRBO I can testify that many of us prefer the advantages of staying in a nice apartment or home where there is a kitchen when we travel.  In effect you usually get a lot more for your money in terms of space and amenities.

Recently, as documented in the linked article, the city has sent out cease and desist notices to people illegally lodging guests in the city.  I made some inquiries about what is going on.

Apparently, this was precipitated by complaints about full house rentals in residential districts.  The complaints apparently have not been so much about someone who rents out individual rooms of their primary residence or their whole house when they are away.   The complaints have more often been instead about non- owner occupied houses being illegally rented out in residential districts.

In response the city has set up a task force made up of city attorneys Vince DeLeonardis and Tony Izzo along with representatives from the city code enforcement to work on refining the existing ordinance. In the meantime the cease and desist orders have been sent out. Supposedly these notices were not targeting short term rentals of owner occupied dwellings. I know of at least one person, though, who rents out rooms through Airbnb on occasion who was the recipient of a cease and desist notice.  So there appears to be some confusion here.

The process remains in flux.


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