Placer launches 24/7 hotline for short-term rental nuisance complaints

Published Aug. 1, 2019

Placer County residents can now report nuisances related to short-term rental properties using a new around-the-clock complaint hotline. 

Operated by Host Compliance, the hotline is intended to offer neighbors a simple, anonymous alternative to calling law enforcement to report non-emergency issues like noise or parking problems caused by short-term rental guests.

The hotline phone number is 530-448-8003. Complaints may also shared online at http://www.hostcompliance.com/tips

“Tahoe and the mountains have long been popular with visitors. It’s clear we’re seeing more issues with guests in our neighborhoods who aren’t familiar with our local rules and regulations and community concerns,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “We’re doing a lot to help make sure they know the rules and are expected to follow them. But if they don’t, this new hotline is a fast, discreet way to get those issues corrected.”

By county code, owners or operators of short-term rentals are required to provide the county with a designated local contact who can respond to complaints within an hour. The hotline works by sharing complaint reports with those designated local contacts so they can resolve them directly with their guests.

Complaints are anonymous, but callers may choose to leave their contact information so operators can follow up with them to ensure their complaint has been adequately resolved.

Placer County has contracted with Host Compliance since 2017 to help ensure that short-term rental lodging operators comply with the county’s transient occupancy tax code, which requires them to apply for a TOT certificate and remit lodging taxes collected from their guests on the county’s behalf. The $19,500 cost of the hotline service is included in Placer’s current contract with Host Compliance.

In 2018, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved an update to the TOT ordinance further addressing the neighborhood impacts of short-term rentals. New measures added through the ordinance update included a requirement to post fliers in all short-term rentals outlining local rules and tips for being a considerate guest; requiring operators to file local contact information with the county; and requiring TOT certificate holders to read and acknowledge their understanding of county ordinances for noise, trash and parking.

As of July 19, there are 4,494 registered short-term rental properties in Placer County; of those, 4,372 are in eastern Placer County. A recent analysis by the Mountain Housing Council determined that vacation rentals make up 13.5% of the total housing stock in the Truckee-North Lake Tahoe region.

Since 2017, Host Compliance has helped Placer County secure an additional $3 million in TOT revenue. In its last fiscal year, Placer County collected nearly $19 million in TOT overall. All TOT revenue received in eastern Placer County is spent locally by long-standing policy.