Thursday, July 18, 2013

Posting Public Contact Information for your Vacation Rental

A reader on this site recently asked about the idea of posting contact information outside of vacation rentals so that the public has a phone number to call in an emergency or when there is any other type of problem.

Many local VR laws that regulate vacation rentals require posting a contact phone number on the outside of the house that can be seen from the street.  Such requirements often raise concerns that posting such information identifies the home as a vacation rental that may be vacant at times, and  thus increases the likelihood that VRs will be broken into.

I haven't seen any data that backs up that concern, at least not so far.

An alternative approach is to notify neighbors who to contact in an emergency or a disturbance at a VR.  The problem with this approach is that neighbors lose the information and still don't have a number to call when they need it.

The best alternative I have seen, when VRs are registered in the community, is for a community to set up just one phone number for everyone to call when there is a problem at a VR, and then let the people who answer the phone evaluate the problem and decide who to contact or what action to take.  

Calls would then be routed to the police, the fire department or the property manager, as needed.

This works well in jurisdictions where vacation rentals are recognized for the contributions they make to their communities, and "regulation" is about making VRs better neighbors and stronger contributors.

Doug Coates

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