Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How To Course on Airbnb ~ Limited Residential Lodging Act of Virginia


Hello everyone,

This week we’re going to have an in’s and out’s meeting about airbnb. For those of you who don’t know, airbnb its similar to VBRO (vacation rental by owner). But it’s much larger. Airbnb is a website where people can stay in someones house rather than a hotel when they travel. It’s the home version of Uber. With airbnb you can rent out rooms in your own house for a night or for a few days, whatever you wish.

What a great way for someone to make a few extra bucks. Several people across the country are using airbnb to avoid foreclosure when times get tight. Or to have money to buy a new car or whatever. It’s a fantastic survival tool just like the Uber concept where you use your own car as a taxi and drive for a while when you’re bored or need some extra cash. My tenants can even make money to pay me their rent with this fabulous new tool.

Our officer, Sue Brocker, has been an airbnb host in one of her properties for a while now and she is making some good extra money doing so.

Roanoke City was trying to control the citizens by making them jump through hoops and pay several hundred dollars to file a legal notice as well as a non refundable fee to plead before the board of zoning appeals for them to graciously allow you to let people to come stay in your own personal home. As if any government official has the right to prevent you from having people over at your house.

Boy… were some of the city council members mad when the state made it a RIGHT for you to do this rather than a privilege in this years general assembly meeting.  I personally spoke with one of the currant councilmen and he was hot. I was essentially told this.… (How dare they do this to us. Airbnb loved Roanoke City and how we created an avenue for the citizens to be able to rent rooms out of their homes…. We were even contacted by them…. We are one of the few progressive cities to do this.… It’s not fair to everyone who thought they were moving to a quiet neighborhood and the next thing they know there is a lot of traffic coming and going from their neighbors house…. This is why the board of zoning appeals process is important.… It allows neighbors to have a place where they can go to stop things like this…. Dallas do you know the calls I’m going to get when people call me and tell me that they can’t stand all of the traffic coming out of that house next door? What am I going to tell them Dallas? I guess all I can say is what I so frequently have to say….. our state politicians decided that you neighbor has the right to have people over at their house and I can do nothing about it. It’s too bad for these people that I can’t help them anymore.)

All I can say is WOW. Isn’t that the perfect demonstration of how a fringe leftist thinks? That they actually have the right to be able to strip your property rights and your liberty away from you if they wish. Or if your stuffy neighbor wishes. Control is the name of the game for the far left guys. It’s all about keeping people under their thumb. And they do this under the guise of political correctness. They develop reasons why the government needs to govern. Why they need to control the people. To protect the victims… Don’t get me wrong, Republicans do this as well. Just not as much. The only political organization that is not focused on stripping your liberty away from you are libertarians.

These types of progressives are often very self important. I have been told by this city councilman, on several occasions, as we wrap up a conversation, in a jokingly way, to “stay out of trouble”. Haha, that’s real funny. Shouldn’t I be telling them that? I am the one that’s the law abiding citizen. He’s the one that better stay out of trouble. This $10 dollar buildings to friends program they set up very well could eventually end up landing some of them in prison. They don’t think so though. These types feel they are too important to get locked up but I can assure you that they aren’t. To take this further, I was told at the end of this particular conversation a few months ago by this councilman, “See, I will even talk with people of the likes of you Dallas.” Gosh that guy is a real comedian isn’t he?

Well, we have been lucky so far. Often when the city tries to strip away your liberty, it is given back to you by the state. Gosh those darn liberty loving people are always messing things up for the oppressors. The city now has no authority to force you to jump through hoops or prevent you from renting out your home to guests as it now has been deemed a right. As long as you are not infringing on the rights of others, they need to stay out of the way and focus on their multi layered pension programs, world class health care, and other ways of robbing you.

Ohh, did you just learn that I am not a fan of the government choking the life out of the citizens?

Facts about the new law that I gather:
1. Specifically prevents Any Locality from passing laws to prevent you from doing this in a residential dwelling no matter what the zoning is. Sorry Roanoke City too bad you aren’t allowed to control us.

2. Prevents the locality from forcing you to adhere to any zoning or licensing requirements that a hotel, bed & breakfast or any other like commercial organization has. They can’t legally impose any additional regulations upon you for doing this. The City was in hot water from what they were doing to the citizens of Roanoke so they immediately terminated their citizen control program.

3. As of now if you rent it out for fewer than 45 days they can not even consider it as a business to tax. However if it is occupied more than 45 days than they can tax you but it has to be done in a uniform manor among all operators which is you if you operate one of these temporary lodging facilities in your house.

4. Localities are allowed to place local ordinances related to noise, trash, health and safety, parking, yard signs etc but only if those ordinances effect not only the temporary lodging but the houses around it as well.

5. A locality can force you to get an insurance policy of a minimum of 500K liability coverage and if they require that and if they catch you not having it they can charge you no more than $200 per violation.

6. If you don’t pay your taxes on the 45 day or more annual stays they can put an ordinance in place that makes it so you are prohibited from operating this temporary lodging, that you can be audited by the tax man, and require you to register your name and address through an online portal maintained by the city or town.

7. This law specifically calls a tenant both a limited residential lodging operator and a primary resident allowing them to do this if they have lived in the unit for at least 60 days. However it also says that nothing shall be construed to supersede or limit contracts or agreements between or among individuals for the use of the property. So that says that if it is in your lease that they can’t act as a residential lodging operator than they will not be allowed to do airbnb. However if it is not in there they have the right to do so. I will be convincing all of my tenants when having difficulty with rent or losing a job that they should consider making some extra money with airbnb and Uber.

8. If it’s in a homeowners association or condo association contract that you can not do this than you can’t do it. As that is also a contract between parties.

9. The hosting operation such as airbnb or VRBO has to register with the state and collect taxes for them. That will automatically come out of the portion of money they keep.

10. This law does not say anywhere that I see that you can’t do this in one of your rentals. The city before was making requirements that you have to live in the house to do it. I see no requirement such as that in this state law.

11. They will revisit this in 2017 and determine if there needs to be changes made after meeting with a group consisting of the hotel industry, hosting operation, local government and local tax officials, property owners and other interested parties.

Come on out to this meeting. It’s not going to involve all of these details. I am giving those to you now. We’re past that at this point. Save this email for reference. The focus of our meeting is how to use programs like airbnb to make some extra money for yourself. This could even be a great way for a person just getting involved in real estate investing to save up for their first rental.

Going to be a fun meeting, see you there!


Unknown on December 3, 2016 at 5:21 PM said...

Hello! We live in Lynchburg and were recently cited as being in violation of state regulations. We are interested in joining the home sharing cause and would like to know if you have any recommendations or places to start. This is new to us but we want to have our voices heard before this goes up for another vote in 2017. Thanks for a great blog - you have some stellar content!

Dallas ® on December 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM said...

Jennifer, you were in violation of what state regulation? Right now they are working on state regulations for that but the only regulations that currently exist are local regulations.

Regarding starting with home sharing, go straight to https://www.airbnb.com/ or Vacation Rental By Owner https://www.vrbo.com/ as those are the 2 big ones right now.

I have been unsuccessfully trying to get REI of Virginia involved in the discussion for how the law will proceed before that 2017 vote. The governor has been asked for us by Senator Edwards if we could take part in the negotiations. There has been no reply to date.

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