South Lake Tahoe Mayor Open to Changes to Vacation Rental Fines - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Open to Changes to Vacation Rental Fines

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The battle continues in South Lake Tahoe over rules that charge vacation home renters huge fines for any violations, but that controversial policy could be changing.

The new policy, put in place at the end of 2017, was meant to keep nuisance renters in check, but it's caused a big uproar in the rental industry.

The current policy fines the renter and the homeowner $1,000 each for a first time offense. That could be a noise violation, too many people in the home, parking in the wrong place, or using a hot tub after 10 p.m.

"You just have these really really steep fines now that are outrageous," Lake Tahoe Accommodations Director of Product Development Josh Priou said. "Honestly, you could probably do it with a $200 fine, but $1,000 and then another $1,000 seems to be inappropriate."

Priou said that most rental owners turn around and charge the renter for the owners' half of the fine, so that ends up being a $2,000 bill for something that could be as simple as parking on the street instead of in the driveway.

That high cost could very likely drive tourists away, which South Lake Tahoe Mayor Wendy David is working to prevent. It's been up for discussion in the city council, and David said she agrees that some of the fines are too steep.

"Perhaps for something like parking, we need to look at, 'What is the real impact?'" David said. "And, 'Can we look at perhaps something tiered? Can we look at possibly, where you have a grace period?'"

To hear more about the issue of vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe, tune in for Face the State this weekend. It's airing Saturday at 4:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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