County reaching out to vacation rental owners-Archived

County reaching out to vacation rental owners

With the emergence of sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO.com, vacation rentals of homes, condos and cabins has grown in prevalence in La Plata County in recent years. 

To better understand the vacation rental landscape in La Plata County, we have hired MUNIRevs, a Dolores-based contractor, to audit the number of such rentals in the county and reach out to vacation rental owners with information about how to be sure they are in compliance with state rules, as well as how to be a good neighbor with vacation rental property.

See Inside Durango TV story on County VRBO outreach.

Be in compliance
The state of Colorado has several compliance requirements for all vacation rentals. These are primarily related to lodgers and sales tax, which the Colorado Department of Revenue collects. In order to operate a vacation rental you must:

  • Maintain a state sales tax license through the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  • Post the lodging and sales tax rates that will be remitted through the Colorado Department of Revenue: La Plata County’s lodging tax rate is 1.9 percent; the sales tax rate is 2 percent.

  • Remit required sales tax and lodgers’ tax to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  • Additionally, La Plata County recommends vacation rentals post state sales tax license number both at the residence and in all rental advertising.

Visit the Department of Revenue's page on vacation rentals  for more information on sales and lodgers tax requirements.

Be a good neighbor
In addition to these compliance requirements, La Plata County strongly urges you to include “good neighbor” measures in your rental policy so as to avoid conflicts in the neighborhood where your vacation rental is located. By clearly articulating and communicating expectations about traffic, parking events, noise, pets, fire safety, garbage and other protocols, you can prepare your guests to be good neighbors during their stay in your rental.

Please be sure your rental policy includes the following, and is posted clearly at the residence:

  1. Management: A responsible person must be reachable by phone and available to resolve a problem at the home within 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. Provide management contact information to guests and to immediate neighbors.
  2. Special events: Conferences, seminars, wedding ceremonies, etc., with 50 or more people in attendance require a separate event permit from La Plata County.
  3. Occupancy: Establish maximum number of occupants in your rental agreement. Industry standards are two people per bedroom, plus one additional person. For example, a two-bedroom unit could have five guests.

  4. Directions: Provide guests with written driving directions and contact information for assistance with locating the property. Neighbors are not to be disturbed if guests are lost.
  5. Parking: Identify the maximum number of vehicles allowed on the property, depending upon garage space, driveway capacity, and on-street parking availability. Parking policies should include speed limits and other road-related protocols. Motor homes, campers and trailers should be prohibited by the rental agreement unless adequate on-site parking is available.  
  6. Fire safety: Articulate limitations on smoking, grills and outdoor fires.
  7. Pets: Be sure your pet policies conform to county regulations and neighborhood rules, including leash laws and cleaning up pet waste.
  8. Garbage: Let your guests know how garbage – including cigarette butts if smoking is allowed on the property – and recyclable material shall be disposed. 

Find out more
For more information about La Plata County's audit of vacation rental properties, taxing requirements and good neighbor policies, contact Belinda Villanueva at (970)382-6320.

Published on 10/10/2016