Complaint hotline for short-term rentals live in Breckenridge, Silverthorne
Residents of Breckenridge and Silverthorne hoping to voice complaints about short-term rentals will want to write down this phone number: 970-368-2044.
After enacting new rules regarding short-term rentals last year, the towns are requiring the owners of short-term rentals to obtain a specific business license and list a responsible agent who can respond to complaints within 60 minutes in most cases.
To take these complaints, Summit County's towns have partnered with the Texas-based company STR Helper to create a new hotline that allows residents to report issues with short-term rentals, including things like illegal parking, piled up trash or excessive noise.
The calls are being forwarded to the company's answering center in Logan, Utah. A company representative said STR Helper has almost 90 clients, and they just sent the town of Dillon a contract on Wednesday.
While Breckenridge was the first jurisdiction in Summit County to create new rules on short-term rentals last year, others already have or will soon follow suit. The rules are an attempt to rein in the booming business involving renting out a home or room inside a home for any term less than 30 days, listings someone might find on the popular accommodation websites VRBO.com or Airbnb.com.
Silverthorne's ordinance technically went into effect on Oct. 24, when the town's elected leaders approved its new rules for short-term rentals on second reading, but town staff gave owners a grace period until Jan. 1 to come into compliance.
Silverthorne will begin education and advertising on the call center in the next week, according to town staff, but the hotline is currently taking complaints for Silverthorne and Breckenridge.
To file a complaint, someone only needs to call the hotline, tell the person on the other end where the rental is and give an address. The caller will be asked for a name and, if he or she wants to give one, a phone number where the caller can be reached.
The receptionist will take the complaint and give the caller a case number before trying to reach the designated agent, who will then have up to one hour to address the underlying issue that led to the complaint. That's unless the complaint comes between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. in Silverthorne, in which case the agent will have only 30 minutes.
If the property turns out to not be a short-term rental, based on the severity of the issue, the caller could be referred by the call center to either non-emergency dispatch or 911, Silverthorne's accounting coordinator Matthew Farley said via email.
Dillon's new rules governing short-term rentals will take effect April 1. Additionally, Summit County approved its regulations regarding short-term rentals for unincorporated areas in the county in December. Based on the county's anticipated timeline, the new permitting system for short-term rentals will go live in late February.
The required deadline for a permit application to be submitted for any rental operating in the unincorporated areas of Summit County will be June 1 and enforcement begins June 30. The county set this timeline to let owners get through the 2018–19 ski season before enforcement of the new regulations begins.
Meanwhile, Frisco Town Council is expected to pass its new rules regarding short-term rentals on second reading next week and town staff anticipate having annual licensing terms for the short-term rentals in town running from May 1 to April 30 each year.
Frisco revenue specialist Chad Most hopes to finalize the town's contract with STR Helper by the end of the week, and he said Frisco should have online registration ready by April 1 at the latest.
"All other provisions of the new ordinance will technically be in effect upon passage, but we can't realistically enforce most provisions until that new license term goes into effect," Most said.
Frisco expects to use the same call center that Breckenridge and Silverthorne are, but Most said it doesn't make much sense for Frisco to start using the hotline until the town has a solid database of its STR properties, which town staff are going to work on with STR Helper over the coming months.
Right now, Most's best guess is that Frisco will be using the call center by May, but he will have a more complete timeline once Frisco's contracts have been finalized.
Anyone who has questions about Breckenridge's new short-term rental program can email str@townofbreckenridge or call 970-547-3101 to speak with the town's accommodations administrator.