Rhinebeck City Council hires firm ahead of short-term rental regulations – Daily Freeman

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RHINEBECK, NY – The City Council has agreed to contract with international government consulting firm Granicus to begin identifying addresses with short-term rentals and establishing a 24/7 helpline for track complaints.

The deals were cleared during a videoconference meeting on Monday. Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia said further work will be included once regulations are approved

“It just seems logical to have these while we work out our local law,” she said.

Information from Granicus indicates that there are at least 54 short-term rental units in the city with a median rental rate per night of $307. Costs to the city for approved services are $3,960 for address identification and $648 for the helpline.

Other services offered by Granicus include collecting taxes, identifying tax evasion, landlord occupancy and rental frequency violations, and managing the permit approval process. Additional annual fees that could be charged if the law is passed are compliance monitoring at $1,215; permit and registration at $5,000; and tracking rental activity at $1,620.

Spinzia said the city can be reimbursed by Dutchess County for up to $5,000 of the costs once the short-term rental law is passed.

Granicus representative Kester Bonsu said it was important to have an enforcement agreement because landlords of short-term rentals are unlikely to comply with the law without pressure.

“We found overwhelmingly that there is about a 10% compliance rate,” he said. “It becomes problematic for many communities because they are responsible for cleaning up the delta between this 10% and the 100% that they hope for with the creation of regulations.”

Officials also plan to limit the proposed legislation to properties that are owners’ primary residences.

“We say only a home or a permanent residence can be rented,” Spinzia said. “You can’t own a second home. You cannot own multiple houses. You can only rent your main residence.

The law would allow secondary suites to be used for short-term rentals and allow landlords to vacate if there are property managers.

“Let’s say someone is going away for three months in the winter, we’ll allow them to rent out their home…for a period of time as a short-term rental,” Spinzia said.

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