Coronado Sues Property Owner Over Short-term Rental Violations - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado Sues Property Owner Over Short-term Rental Violations

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Posted: Friday, October 4, 2019 4:40 pm

The City has initiated legal action against a property owner to enforce its short-term rental ordinance.

The property owner has ignored multiple requests to comply with Coronado’s local ordinance. The City’s municipal code prohibits transient occupancy of homes in residential neighborhoods for a period of 25 consecutive days or less, per Code Section 86.78.060.

“We reach out to let people know they are violating our ordinance and give them a chance to voluntarily comply,” said City Manager Blair King. “Those we take to court can’t claim they didn’t know about the code.”

The City hopes to send a clear message that it has and will continue to prosecute those who violate the ordinance. This is Coronado’s fifth civil prosecution of short-term rental violations in recent years. Previously, the City successfully prosecuted four 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 City is seeking a temporary restraining order in San Diego Superior Court to prohibit the owners from renting their property on a short-term basis. The City also is seeking injunctive relief. This would permit the court in its discretion to issue penalties of $2,500 per violation. 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.

The violations have occurred at two properties, one near H Avenue and Fourth Street and one near Olive Avenue and Tenth Street. After receiving complaints from neighbors that there were various groups of people in some of the units over a one-week period, loud parties and broken glass outside, the City found the owner had been renting the home out for short-term stays using VRBO.com and HomeAway.com.

The City reached out on numerous occasions to ask the property owner to comply with city laws. Coronado contracts with Host Compliance, a company that helps the City with monitoring and enforcement of the short-term rental ordinance. The company also sent notices regarding the short-term rental violations. Despite the repeated notices, the property continued to be advertised for rent for less than 26 days.

In 2018, when surveyed, Coronado residents indicated strong support (76%) to maintain limitations on short-term rentals.

Not all property owners with rental units violate zoning codes. Most rent their properties 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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