Breckenridge, Colorado, adds new Airbnb regulations
- Sep 6, 2018 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
The Breckenridge Town Council has unanimously passed new regulations for short-term rentals, including setting up a 24-hour hotline for people to call with complaints about short-term rentals.
The new hotline is designed to offer residents a way to resolve problems with short-term rentals, including noise, parking, and garbage issues. The new law also requires that short-term rental operators designate a “responsible agent.” When a complaint comes in to the hotline, the responsible agent will be contacted and has up to one hour to resolve the complaint.
If the agent does not resolve the issue, the property owner could be given a violation. Violations will not be given without a hearing, if the property owner requests one. Operators with repeated violations could lose their short-term rental license. The responsible agent may not actually be required to go to the property to resolve a complaint, especially if safety is an issue.
Certain short-term properties that already have 24-hour security, front desk and phone systems are exempt from the new rules.
The existing law, which went into effect last year, requires short-term rental operators to have a town license and to list their license number in all advertisements. The most recent ordinance created a new fee structure for licenses, based on the number of bedrooms inside a home.
Breckenridge short-term rental operators are also required to collect state, county, and local sales and lodging taxes from their guests. Airbnb collects some short-term rental taxes for its bookings in Colorado, including Colorado state sales tax, county lodging tax, local marketing district tax, and local sales tax.
However, Breckenridge also requires short-term rental hosts to collect a town public accommodation tax from guests, which Airbnb does not collect on behalf of its hosts. That means hosts are responsible for collecting the local accommodation tax and remitting it to Breckenridge. Automated solutions such as MyLodgeTax can help Breckenridge short-term rental operators make sure they get accommodation taxes right.
Other online booking platforms such as VRBO and HomeAway do not collect taxes for their hosts, so operators who use these platforms are responsible for collecting all taxes due on short-term rentals and filing them with the right agency. All operators, including Airbnb hosts, are responsible for registering for required Colorado state tax licenses.
The changes to Breckenridge’s rules were inspired by similar rules in Vail. A new short-term rental law went into effect in Vail earlier this year. It requires owners of short-term rental properties to apply for short-term rental licenses that must be renewed every year and are not transferrable to new owners. Short-term rental owners must also designate a contact person located within 60 minutes of the rental who is available to respond to complaints 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In Vail, agents must respond to complaints within 60 minutes — and only 30 minutes during the hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. The new regulations also outline a process for complaints.
Vail tax and licensing administrator Johannah Richards said that Vail has already received several complaints via its hotline, and that the hotline has been useful in helping the city get real data on the number and types of complaints about short-term rentals.