Our Palm Springs
The Facts On Short-Term Vacation Rentals
MYTH: Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are good for the local economy.
The economic backbone of any community is its permanent residents and not here-today/gone-tomorrow visitors. The City of Palm Springs is proposing to spend millions on a new bureaucracy to monitor vacation rentals which have no business being in residential neighborhoods. More forward-thinking cities have already passed ordinances to zone them into commercial areas or have banned them altogether.
The city subsidizes STRs. It allows these transient hotels to operate without the permits, licenses and inspections required of our city's legitimate commercially-licensed hotels. They're excused from safety/health/accessibility requirements, including: off-street parking, regular inspections of pool equipment, widened doorways, commercial fire sprinkler systems, emergency lighting, county health inspections, fire suppression systems and private trash removal.
While the city subsidizes these illegal businesses, our hotels average a 39% vacancy rate. That rate will soar even more as new downtown hotels open.
MYTH: STRs are good for the real estate market.
STRs flood the market without limitations. At some point, profitability will decline, and the real estate market will collapse on itself. Any future recession will exacerbate this effect. Potential second-home buyers increasingly reluctant to buy next door to a transient hotel or in a neighborhood with potential to become a hotel row. The only buyers who will be left in the Palm Springs market will be corporate, absentee investors.
MYTH: STRs can be good neighbors with proper enforcement.
This experiment has failed for eight years and has made life miserable for so many residents. There are no enforcement strategies that mitigate noisy, weekend, partying guests. They're here to have a good time, enjoy the rental home, pool and patio, and save money by eating in. Neighbors are put in the uncomfortable position of having to police these homes. According to the city's records, many complaints occur late into the night. It's a terribly unfair burden to put on residents.
MYTH: STRs are vital for tourism.
Tourists will come to Palm Springs if there are no STRs as they have done in the past, enjoying our variety of hotel options. With our high vacancy rates, room prices will remain competitive. They will eat out, go to bars, and not disturb our neighbors.
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate for large hotels is actually higher than the TOT rate for vacation rental homes.
MYTH: Palm Springs has always had STRs.
That is not correct. The Palm Springs' rental market catered to longer-term, seasonal "snow bird" renters (over 28 days) for years. The newer, short-term renter is a phenomenon made possible by internet rental listing sites.
MYTH: STRs do not negatively affect crime rates.
STRs create a "stranger hood" and an unsettled atmosphere within a neighborhood and cripple neighborhood watch efforts - one of the best ways of keeping communities safe.
MYTH: Phasing out STRs will collapse our real estate market.
This hasn't happened in Anaheim, Laguna, Monterey, Ojai, Santa Barbara, or many other tourist dependent cities that have banned STRs. Homeowners could still rent their houses for 28 days or more. Phasing out STRs will send a clear message to potential second-home buyers that the city is serious about preserving its neighborhoods. That concept would boost the market for buyers who are looking for full- or part-time residences to actually live in!
MYTH: Sun setting existing STRs is unfair to owners.
Short-term commercial rental properties are a nuisance and inappropriate use for a single-family neighborhood. They negatively affect the property rights of their full-time neighbors who purchased their home in a single-family residential neighbor-hood with the reasonable expectation that commercial businesses would not be operating next door to them.
MYTH: Renting your home short-term is a right.
Property rights of homeowners in residential (R-1) neighborhoods are specific and protected by our zoning ordinance. It is a clear violation of our zoning ordinance to run a commercial business out of one's home. STRs are clearly a commercial enterprise. Exception being home-sharing while owner is present.
MYTH: STR complaints are made-up of just a few "bad apples."
Truth be told, calls to the complaint hotline show that 518 or 28% of all vacation rental homes received a logged complaint in 2015-2016, up from 19% in 2014-2015. No, it's not just a few "bad apples"; of the STRs with the most complaints, the worst 50 had from 10 to 42 calls last year!
2,300 - The number of Palm Springs homes converted to vacation rentals, including many hundreds of homes that were once affordable for families and individuals working in Palm Springs.
80% - Eight out of 10 vacation rental owners do not live in Palm Springs
>50% - Over half of the rent dollars generated by STRs leaves Palm Springs
50% - Seven Palm Springs neighborhoods have seen a 50% or greater increase in the number of STRs this past year
47% - Over the past year there has been a 47% increase in the number of vacation rental homes with a logged complaint.
28% - 518 or 28% of all vacation rental homes received a logged complaint in 2015. Up from 19% in 2014.
68% - In a recent NSON, a national opinion research firm, telephone poll of voting residents of Palm Springs, 68% believed vacation rentals should be required to adhere to the same health and safety regulations as Palm Springs small hotels, inns and B&Bs.
60% - In the same telephone poll, 60% believe residents should decide if they want vacation rentals in their neighborhoods.
67% - In the same telephone poll, two out of three residents believe Code Enforcement officers, not rental agencies or owners, should be the first responders to hotline calls.
72% - Seven out of 10 residents polled believe four violations in 12 months should result in immediate termination of permit for two years. All data documented at protectourneigbhorhoods.net
Together We Can Take Back Our Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods are for Neighbors
Residents' right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes must be protected. This will only happen if we work together to change policies and procedures governing short-term vacation rentals in our residential neighborhoods. When the City allows our neighbors to be replaced with a constant flow of strangers we lose a piece of our neighborhood and of our community.
Please join in our efforts to Protect Our Neighborhoods.