Usually, when a new law is passed outlawing something that was previously legal, the law doesn't go into effect immediately and has an effective date several months in the future. Get a copy of the ordinance for yourself and double-check the effective date. For guests who haven't checked in yet and would be renting after the effective date of the ordinance, send them a detailed emailing explaining the situation (and that you have no control over it) and issue a full refund. You want to give them as much time as possible to make other arrangements.
Your current guests present a greater problem. What's the penalty for violating the ordinance? If it's a fine that's not more than your rental amount, I think I would let the current guests stay instead of evicting them mid-stay and pay the fine to the city.
Thanks. It took a week for this post to get approved, so I've already handled it.
I told the people who'd reserved it in March what was happening and gave them the option of keeping their reservation, knowing the city could kick them out, or canceling it. Everyone is taking their chances and keeping their reservations, so fingers crossed.
I canceled all reservations after April 1st, and shut the cottage down.
The city planner told me they don't want out-of-town people buying up/owning houses in the city unless they offer them up as long-term rentals for the locals. We lived near town when we bought it in 2012, but a job transfer moved us to Omaha. I don't know why they couldn't grandfather us in, but you can't fight city hall. Especially when they pass the ban in November but don't bother telling you about until February.
Actuallly, you can fight City Hall, but it costs money and time......
That would be like saying all homes have to have sprinkler systems in the home. Typically those type of changes are for new construction after the date of the change and any home that is destroyed by fire, etc would then be subject to rebuild to the new codes.
It just depends on how much time, energy and stress you want to put out there to see if they will grandfather you in??? (I would look carefully at the current codes though because many may already say residential areas can NOT run a business from homes built in that area. I think the exception might be daycare for less than 5 children. Even though it is being used as a residence if you have a business license then.....”business”. Catch 22
You should be careful of steep fines if you are caught since you have been warned already.
Too bad you were not tuned in before they legislated away your property rights.
Be willing to pay the piper..... fines here are starting at $1300 etc per violation, or $500 per day.
Will you fork that over if the city comes knocking, or a neighbor reports you?
You are not responsible for the govt decision and legislation. They likely had a "grace period" between November and February.
If it were me, I would cancel the guests, or have them contractually sign that they will pay any fine incurred. ( they won't sign ).
The more the public rebels against these govt restrictions, the better off we all will be and eventually the towns may loosen the regulations.
This is going on all over the country and the world.
The govt is taking away basic property rights and overreaching ( in my personal opinion).
Now I wll get off my soapbox.
We encourage you to please follow your local laws. That being said, we also encourage you to stand up for your rights as a homeowner. Here is an article about how you can fight short term rental regulations. You should also check out the the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center website, so you can rally your fellow owners and fight this unfair law. Finally, please reach out to our Government Affairs team at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
HomeAway Community Manager