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Why Take the Risk? Be Legal in the New Year.

December 27th, 2012

With 2013 just around the corner, should you include applying for your vacation rental business license to your year-end checklist? As discussed in last week’s blog, local and state governments are cracking down on vacation homeowners who are not paying required lodging taxes. Compliance is not difficult, but it can be tedious and confusing.

Homeowners can renew their existing licenses by clicking on the applicable link below and following the instructions for “MUNIRevs”. Homeowners who are in need of a business license can also use the local government links below, however they will first need to apply for a sales tax number. Clicking on the State of Colorado link can access the required form: Click Here

Business Licenses Renewal/Application Links

For Town of Telluride Click Here

For Mountain Village Click Here

Once the application is submitted, homeowners will be provided with tax filing forms. Sales tax forms will need to be periodically filed with their local tax office and the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Provided below is a summary of the primary requirements for vacation rental regulations in the Telluride area. For a complete listing of requirements, please contact VRS (970) 728-4202 (email VRS) or your local governmental office, Town of Telluride (970) 728-2175 or Mountain Village (970) 369-6408.

*County considering regulations
**Three rentals per year for maximum of 29 days in residential areas

Given the significant penalties of non-compliance combined with state and local governments’ heightened interest in collecting tax revenues, it only makes sense for homeowners to become compliant. At VRS we want to take the hassles out of ensuring your property is compliant with state and local regulations, which is why we offer an affordable Rental Compliance Plan. For a low monthly fee of $65, VRS can provide peace of mind that your property meets the requirements.

Colorado Ski Towns Turn to a Controversial High Tech Solution to Identify Rogue Homeowners

December 20th, 2012

Compliance is nothing new in the vacation rental industry, but recently it has taken a surprising twist. To identify vacation rental homeowners who are not paying lodging taxes, several Colorado towns have resorted to a controversial high-tech tool known as “scraping.” The towns have engaged a company that uses computer software to extract information from vacation rental websites, which is then compared to municipal databases to identify non-compliant vacation rental homeowners.

Homeaway, parent of VRBO, has taken an aggressive position on this issue arguing that “scraping” violates a “fundamental privacy right” between the company and the homeowners who advertise on its sites.

Setting aside for a moment the ethical and legal issues, this clearly signals that local governments are prepared to consider extraordinary means to identify vacation rental homeowners who have not obtained business licenses to rent their property and are not paying lodging taxes. As municipalities struggle to balance budgets they are increasingly concerned about losing tax and license revenues from the growing number of owner-managed vacation rentals.

The days of vacation rental homeowners flying under the radar and ignoring state and local laws and ordinances are clearly numbered. Given local governments increased attention to this issue and the associated penalties, the risk of non-compliance is simply too great to ignore.

At VRS we know that compliance is a hassle for busy homeowners. We also accept that it has become a requirement of vacation rentals, which is why we offer a Rental Compliance plan. This is an affordable way for you to comply with local and state tax codes, and reporting requirements. For a low monthly fee of $65, VRS will ensure that your property is compliant with state and local vacation rental ordinances.

Increase Occupancy and Revenue: Adapt to Consumers

December 12th, 2012

Just in time for the winter travel season, the recent HomeAway vacation trends study sheds light on consumers’ desires so you can make adjustments that will increase bookings and revenues. According to the study, travelers’ top complaints when considering a vacation rental were online listings with inaccurate booking calendars and/or rental rates. The second major complaint was slow or lack of response to rental inquiries. The report also noted that the number one reason travelers choose vacation rentals over hotels is their desire to have all of the conveniences of home while on vacation.

Travelers’ habits and demands, including reliance on technology and need for instant access to information, are changing the travel industry.  It is important that property information is continually updated to ensure accuracy. Additionally, responses to rental inquiries must be made promptly and consistently to meet traveler expectations.

Of equal importance, online property descriptions should provide sufficient details to allow travelers to determine if the property will meet their needs.  Specific areas of interest include the ability to prepare meals and having ample space for the entire group.  Highlighting these areas could be the difference between securing and not securing a rental.

Renting out your vacation home does not need to be stressful. There are many options available to consider whether you are new to the rental market or your current rental management plan is not working for you. With just a few adjustments, you can modify your listing to meet these needs.

Click Here To learn more about Rental Management from VRS.

Vacation Rental Services (VRS) offers a Rental Management Plan that will ensure your online listing information is at all times current and accurate.  VRS responds to all rental inquiries within 30 minutes and has a specific inquiry follow-up plan. VRS offers a menu of services that can be designed to meet your unique needs.  All of this for a fraction of the cost of what traditional property management companies charge, so more revenue goes directly to you.

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970.728.4202 | info@vacation-rental-services.com
P.O. Box 2969 | Telluride, CO 81435