Best Practices as a Vacation Rental Owner
This summary is provided by the Ventura Vacation Rental Association (VVRA) as a tool for STVR owners, tenants and Ventura residents to better understand and benefit from the City of Ventura’s ordinance governing STVRs. The primary purpose of the City’s ordinance is to minimize the impact of STVRs on the surrounding neighborhood. Similarly, VVRA’s goals include facilitating the peaceful coexistence of STVRs and residents in Ventura’s neighborhoods, respecting all property owners’ rights, and obtaining 100% compliance with the City’s ordinance governing the operation of STVRs. This summary is intended as an overview only; please see the “City of Ventura Municipal Code, Chapter 6.455: Short-Term Vacation Rentals” for complete information.
PERMITS AND TAXES
ALL STVRs are REQUIRED to be permitted. A STVR is defined as a “residential ‘dwelling unit’ not located in a hotel that is rented for a period not more than 30 consecutive days.” The permitting process includes:
STVR Application ($628 fee) and Initial Inspection of the property ($128 fee)
Business License Application (to be renewed annually) and payment of the initial Business License Tax
STVR owner must provide a Nuisance Response Plan to the city (more information below)
STVR owner must provide a copy of their Rental Agreement forbidding parties and loud social events between the hours of 10pm and 7am OR provide a Surety Bond for $1500
ALL STVRs are REQUIRED to pay Transient Occupancy Tax (“TOT”) for rentals of 30 days or less. TOT is 10% of rent. Registered STVRs must submit a TOT tax report and payment each month, even if no rents were collected or if the rent was exempt from TOT (rental period greater than 30 days.) Please note that all STVRs, even those operating illegally without a permit, are required to pay TOT.
STVR PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Both OWNERS and TENANTS must comply with STVR Performance Standards. The STVR ordinance contains numerous rules pertaining to how the property is used, required content of rental agreements, items to be posted inside the property, etc. Highlights of the performance standards are summarized here. Please review the City of Ventura’s ordinance regarding STVRs for complete rules and regulations.
During the summer (defined as the 2nd Friday in June until the last Friday in August), the rental period must be a minimum of 7 nights.
At times other than summer, owners may rent only once in any consecutive 7-day period, with a minimum stay of 2 nights. In other words, owners are only allowed to rent one time during any rolling 7-day period, even if the rental is for fewer than 7 days.
The maximum overnight occupancy is 2 people/bedroom plus 2 more people. For example, the maximum overnight occupancy of a 3-bedroom house is 8 people, no matter how large the overall size of the home.
Tenants must be notified of the number of off-street parking spaces provided, and the on-street parking limitations.
Owners must provide sufficient trash containers and service. Occupants must be informed of trash pick-up day and the rules for trash storage (in proper containers and out of public view except for 4:00 pm on the day before pick up until 8:00 pm on the day of pick up.)
Occupants must be given a copy of the City of Ventura’s “Good Neighbor Guidelines” (copy attached).
Tenants must be notified that illegal loud parties are prohibited, and that all occupants are subject to Neighborhood Quiet Hours between 10pm and 7am.
Occupants may be cited, fined or immediately evicted by owner for violating any provisions of the STVR ordinance.
Tenants must provide owners, and owners must provide tenants, the name and phone number of a local contact person who can be reached at all times.
All STVR Advertising must include “Ventura Permit No._____.” If the STVR permit number is not cited in the advertisement, it is either an illegal rental or out of compliance with the STVR ordinance.
NUISANCE RESPONSE PLAN
The Nuisance Response Plan was designed by the city to provide 24/7 access to a STVR owner or agent “in the event of loud noises or other nuisance conditions caused by tenants residing in an STVR.” The Nuisance Response Plans for each registered STVR are posted on the City of Ventura’s website, listed alphabetically by property address, and contain:
Property owner’s name, address and phone number
Contact information for people responsible for responding to a complaint within 45 minutes
The STVR’s # of bedrooms, maximum # of occupants, and # of off-street parking spaces
If the property address is not listed on the City’s website, then the STVR is NOT LEGALLY REGISTERED!
In the event of a complaint, the complainant is first required to contact the owner/agent listed in the Nuisance Response Plan. If the issue persists, the violation should be reported to the City of Ventura and/or a police report should be filed (on-line links are available on the City of Ventura’s STVR webpage). According to the website, “common sense should be exercised in the case of matters best handled by the Police Department or City Code Enforcement Officers.”
Once an STVR owner or agent receives a complaint, the owner/agent must respond within 45 minutes, and must take timely corrective action to prevent recurrence. The owner must maintain records of all complaints, including name of the complainant, violation cited, date, time and corrective action taken.
VIOLATION OF THE ORDINANCE
Failure to comply with all aspects of the City of Ventura’s ordinance, including renting or advertising a STVR without a permit, is a misdemeanor punishable per Division 1 of the Municipal Code. In addition, permits can be suspended, modified or revoked for violations of the ordinance, violating other laws, or unsafe conditions.
Please see VVRA’s “Good Landlord Guidelines” for additional tips and suggestions for STVR owners regarding screening tenants, establishing rental rules, handling complaints, etc.
Good Neighbor Guidelines
The City of Ventura is pleased to welcome you as a short-term vacation guest in our beautiful city. We hope you enjoy your stay here and take advantage of all that Ventura has to offer.
As a short-term guest in this neighborhood, we ask that you be respectful of the long-term residents that live here. Ventura’s Ordinance entitled “Short-Term Vacation Rentals” has been adopted to ensure that our short-term vacation renters do not negatively impact the peace of those who make this neighborhood their year-round home.
You and your visitors must comply with the following conditions:
Park only in space assigned to your unit and obey posted parking signs. PLEASE OBEY SPEED LIMITS AND WATCH OUT FOR CHILDREN. The streets in this area are narrow and may or may not have sidewalks. Trash/litter must be placed in appropriate containers. Avoid overfilling. Comply with Ventura’s Noise Ordinance: It is unlawful to make continued loud, unnecessary or unusual noise that disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood.
Your landlord has provided a Nuisance Response Plan accessible to all neighbors within a 300-foot radius. Any nuisance activities, such as loud afterhours parties or noise, disruptive behavior, illegal parking, excessive and/or overflowing trash, or any activity that disrupts the neighborhood peace can and will be reported. If unacceptable conditions are not remedied immediately, Ventura Police Department and/or Code Enforcement will respond. Continued unacceptable behavior is subject to citation and fines.
Enjoy your vacation and please
be a good neighbor!