At the same time, Giesinger added, those who didn’t want to meet regulations have just left the market, an equally positive result of monitoring properties for compliance.
“One thing that people didn’t entirely understand is that once you have STR permit that you’re subject to the occupancy standards, no matter who’s staying there, whether you’re using it or the renters are using it,” he said. “Because there’s just no way to make that distinction because we would have to ask for rental contracts from everybody, it would be unmanageable.”
With over 600 permits to date and a compliance rate recently as high as 78%, Giesinger said that the not only has enforcement improved, including being well prepared to win two appeal cases, but that it has allowed expansion into conducting building and fire inspections on properties.
Since implementing the compliance hotline with Granicus, Washoe has had nearly 500 calls regarding properties. After an initial surge, however, Giesinger said that declining numbers show the impact of the ordinance as well.
“It’s kind of dropped off as time has gone on, as would be expected,” he said. “We’ll get a big uptick around holidays like the July 4. Although we’ve been surprised recently that we haven’t seen as many complaints as we thought we would after this past Fourth.”
And even for someone who has been in the community for as long as Giesinger, the impact of the new host compliance monitoring has revealed some surprises.
“I didn’t expect to find so many STRs not in the Basin,” he said. “Actually, one of our first cases was a house out in the country. And we were just startled to learn that people were doing that out there. But I guess there’s a market for rural Airbnbs, too.”