Bountiful Utah Hotels
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Salt Lake City has many AirBnB deals, though the city does not issue short-term rental licenses in residential areas. One of the cities trying to address short-term rentals is Sandy, which banned the practice but changed its law to allow a certain number of them under a neighborhood law last August. In view of the influx of new residents and the lack of affordable housing in the area, Moab adopted a plan in February to build a new hotel and apartment complex to keep pace with growth, according to a press release from the city administration.
Mayor Jeff Silvestrini said the city is making it easier to obtain licenses because the business is so lucrative. The freeze means people can still apply for licences for existing homes in approved zones, said City Manager Joel Linares. The city must limit overnight stays because no one else would build, he said, adding: "I wouldn't blame them. In the meantime, cities are engaged in discussions about how to grow responsibly as a community. More information on short-term rental licenses and other options is available in the cities.
While Utah's cities know that underground renting is thriving, they seem to be doing little to contain it. Instead of bucking this trend and pretending it doesn't exist, some cities have begun to address it.
Sandy says it continues to investigate complaints about unapproved rentals, but usually issues only warnings first. The city has received several complaints from neighbors about the unauthorized leases, which have been forwarded to the enforcement authority.
Several real estate investors who spoke to the Tribune anonymously confirmed that they are running short-term rentals because it is too difficult to get them. They say people are being driven to run unlicensed businesses because the city doesn't know how to regulate them properly and their policies are confusing and contradictory. Unlicensed landlords need not worry about being tracked down and punished simply for online ads, and they are protected by state law. If the ads are coupled with a formal complaint to a city, running an unlicensed company can result in a fine.
Pitcher said he avoided the hassle by renting out short-term rentals in Puerto Rico, where they are welcome as a tourist attraction. Frustration is compounded by the fact that unlicensed operators in South Salt Lake are making profits while fighting the case. Dale Carlile has heard Southampton's appeal but says he is looking for apartment buildings in other cities that may be more welcoming to his business, and none of the sites have impressed him.
Lines said short-term rentals are a problem for the city because Utah already has a rental shortage. Smith acknowledged the Wasatch Front's housing woes, but said cities need to find other ways to solve the problem, rather than sweeping short-term rental operators under the carpet. A search on the Utah Department of Housing and Community Development website shows more than 1,000 short- and long-term rental apartments in the state.
K Knotwell said his bill protects people who are not bothered by excessive parking, noise or litter. He claims he will stand up and fight the rents that are getting in the way of the city, which has so far refused to give in.
Evelyn Everton, Sandy's deputy mayor, said the ban began in the 1980s when residents were worried about letting strangers into their neighborhoods. She declined to talk to the Tribune about the city's short-term rental policy or comment on Carlile's request. Further questions to the city about its policy went unanswered and were directed at other employees who said they were not allowed to speak to her.
When Carlile went to the South Salt Lake office last January, she was told by a woman at the commercial license counter that the city did not want her because short-term rentals interfered with the local hotel business. Garn, of the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association, said hotels have no control over the owners they occupy and that companies compete with hotels without having to follow the same rules and regulations. Others advised against operating under the radar because it would be too difficult to obtain a license.