What is a responsible agent? How will you, as an absentee Breckenridge property owner, resolve issues such as noise, garbage and parking for your property caused by unruly guests at 2 AM to avoid having your business license revoked?
These are the questions owners are asking themselves after the Breckenridge Town Council passed a new BOLT ordinance affecting short term rentals operators on online platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and more.
The skyrocketing popularity of Airbnb in Breckenridge has provided major economic benefit for the town, but has also brought in it’s fair share of complaints to local residents. Issues like noise late in the night, parking off property in prohibited areas and garbage in yards/on streets are just a few of the issues that the local residents of Breckenridge have to deal with.
It’s one thing to recognize the issue, but another to understand where it stems from. The town council determined that these issues are caused not by Airbnb or other short term rental platforms themselves, but by careless owners and unreliable property management companies who do not communicate the laws and rules effectively.
To resolve these issues, the town has:
Set up a 24/7 hotline for neighbors to report any issues caused by unruly short term renters.
Updated the Special Conditions of License for all accommodation units
Added an annual accommodation administrative fee
Required that short-term rental operators assign a “responsible agent”, rental agent or a local agent to resolve issues within one hour via the hotline.
As defined in the Ordinance passed by the Town of Breckenridge, a Responsible Agent (or Local Agent) has the following general responsibilities:
“[The] responsible agent, or such person’s employee or designee, shall be available twenty four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week, to respond (as defined in the administrative rules and regulations) to any complaint filed with or through the Town, or a website provided by the Town for such purpose, about the operation or condition of the licensee’s accommodation unit. Such responsible agent shall respond to a complaint within sixty (60) minutes of receiving notice of such complaint. The responsible agent’s failure to respond to a complaint as required by this Section is chargeable to the Owner....”
With this, Breckenridge continues to add to it’s already growing restrictions for Short Term Rentals by requiring the collection of a “town public accommodation tax” from guests. Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway do not remit this tax on the behalf of its hosts. This means hosts are responsible for collecting the local accommodation tax and remitting it to Breckenridge which can be a hassle.
As restrictions grow in this beautiful mountain town, owners must adapt and find effective solutions. Saavy homeowners seeking to save valuable time and headaches may turn to a reliable professional property management company that offers responsible agent services, while others may decide to bite bullet and deal with issues themselves. Either way, keeping within the confines of the law is better safe than sorry, no matter how inconvenient it is.