City Sues Over Short-term Rentals

City Sues Over Short-term Rentals

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Janine Zúñiga; 619-522-7340-office

 

Coronado Sues Property Owner Over Short-term Rental Law Violations

CORONADO, CA (June 22, 2017) The City has filed a lawsuit against a local property owner who ignored multiple requests to comply with Coronado's short-term rental ordinance.

The City’s municipal code prohibits transient occupancy of homes in residential neighborhoods. The codes define a transient occupancy as 25 consecutive days or less. Code Section 86.78.060 states: “No dwelling or habitable unit in any residential zone shall be used as a transient rental.”

“We always contact people and give them fair warning that they are violating the ordinance and a chance to voluntarily comply,” said City Manager Blair King. “No one we prosecute can claim they didn’t know they were violating the code.”

As another busy summer season begins, the City hopes to send a clear message that it will prosecute those who violate the ordinance.

On Tuesday, the court granted a temporary restraining order to prohibit the owners from renting their property on a short-term basis. The City also seeks injunctive relief. This would permit the court in its discretion to issue penalties of $2,500 per violation. The hearing for the preliminary injunction is set for August 4. The City also wants to recover costs related to enforcement as well as the tax the owners would have been required to pay had they been a legitimate hotel.

This is Coronado’s fourth civil prosecution of short-term rental violations in recent years. Previously, the City successfully prosecuted three property owners who failed to comply with Coronado’s short-term rental ordinances. Property owners can incur fines, civil penalties, court costs and attorney fees.

The property is located on Isabella Avenue near Flora Avenue, an area within walking distance of the beach. After receiving complaints from neighbors, the City found the owner had been renting the home out for short-term stays using VRBO.com. The owners own multiple properties in Coronado.

The City chose to prosecute the owner after documenting requests to stop advertising short-term rentals. After being told it was a code violation multiple times, the owner was found to have entered into a short-term rental agreement.

Not all property owners violate zoning codes. Most rent their homes for 26 days or longer as permitted under the City’s code. However, there are people who continue to break the law. When the City is alerted to a short-term rental advertised online or receives a complaint, it follows up immediately with property owners. Those who fail to comply are subject to further enforcement by the City, up to and including being taken to court.

Residents who want to report a short-term rental violation can send an email to rentalviolations@coronado.ca.us or call the City Manager’s Office at (619) 522-7335 and City staff will respond.

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Posted on 06/22/2017
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