Cathedral City is taking steps to phase out short-term vacation rentals.

After a year of public input, the creation of a short-term vacation rental task force, and much deliberation, the City Council asked staff to prepare the ordinance revisions necessary to phase out short-term vacation rentals (STVR) in residential neighborhoods over the next two years with two main exceptions – homes located in neighborhoods governed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs a.k.a. Common Interest Developments) that permit such use and home sharing vacation rentals. Home sharing means that the home is the owner’s primary or principal residence and rents out a portion of the property. Rules include that the owner may only have one primary or principal residence and the owner of the home is onsite during the rental period. Typically, home sharing is where the owner rents out a room or casita on their property.
The council believed the STVR phase out was needed to restore the quality of life back into residential neighborhoods and that no amount of enforcement was available to properly address the complaints by adjacent neighbors who are faced with unruly STVR renters.
Other notable regulations for the proposed ordinance include:
• Increasing the fines for advertising or renting a STVR without a city permit to be $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for a second violation with escalating amounts thereafter.
• Failure to respond to a Hotline call regarding noise, music, trash, parking violations within 30 minutes would be $1,000 fine for the first violation and $3,000 for the second violation, revocation of the permit on the third violation for 12 months.
• Failure to properly advertise the STVR with permit numbers and photo of the unit’s front exterior would be $2,500 for first violation and $5,000 for second violation along with a six-month permit revocation.
• Neighboring properties within 300 feet of any new STVR permit application and renewal shall receive notification of such STVR.
• Guest check-ins must be done in person or via video technology.
• Outdoor amenities such as pools and spas must be closed between the hours of 10 pm and 8:00 am.
• All rental agreements must be filed with the City within 24 hours of completion.
An ordinance providing these and other components will be brought to the City Council for a first reading on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. If approved, then a second reading of the ordinance would occur on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 and the ordinance would go into effect on October 9, 2020.
The city continues to have a moratorium on all new STVR permits for an indefinite period of time; or until the new ordinance goes into effect, making it permanent. The moratorium excludes HOA neighborhoods that explicitly allow STVRs.
Homebuyers now being forced to look at other cities that have more favorable STR policies and restrictions.

If you are considering to buy Short-term Vacation Rentals in the greater Palm Springs area, make sure you are familiar with and understand the ordinance and regulations fully. These regulations are meant to protect the neighborhood, property values – your future investment! And talk to fellow Vacation Rentals Investors or Real Estate Agents – your local experts.

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