Vacation Rentals In Big Bear: A Brief History…

Owning a second home in a resort market like Big Bear Valley offers numerous benefits.  Many people who decide to purchase a cabin or second home in Big Bear Valley do so because of the income-generating potential of renting it out as a vacation rental.  Vacation rental properties can yield significant returns.  A large number of private homes in Big Bear Valley are used as vacation rentals in some capacity.  The private home rental industry is critical to the health and vitality of the Big Bear Valley economy.  Private home rentals account for 67% of the city’s transient occupancy tax (TOT) and 25% of the city’s sales tax; contributing an estimated $3M+ to an annual city budget of about $10M.

What You Need To Know About Big Bear VRMA

BBVRMA stands for Big Bear Vacation Rental Management Association.  BBVRMA was formed specifically to protect the rights of private homeowners who rent their homes as vacation rentals in Big Bear Valley.

Over a decade ago, the private home rental industry in the valley had begun to come under scrutiny and criticism.  Local residents were unhappy with private home rentals due to unregulated overcrowding, noise, illegal parking, and general disregard for the environment as evidenced by trash and damage to homes and property.

An initiative was raised that would have eliminated ALL private home rentals in Big Bear Valley.  The threat was real and had to be dealt with.  Big Bear VRMA went to court in 2008 and after litigating, defending and fighting the initiative and an appeal; they eventually invalidated the initiative and saved Private Home Rentals In Big Bear Valley.

Big Bear VRMA understood the concern of the local residents and addressed it in the form of creating standardized code enforcement.  This code enforcement would come to include a paid-for 24/7 answering service that responds to complaints and holds homeowners and vacation rental companies accountable to rules and regulations that help maintain the quality of life for local residents.  Big Bear VRMA worked with the City of Big Bear Lake to rewrite its private home rental ordinances to assure that renters “behave” in the neighborhoods and that local residents can rely on prompt and effective response if problems do occur.

The attack on homeowners’ rights to rent their homes as vacation rentals in Big Bear Valley is an ongoing threat, and as long as Private Home Rentals exist there will always be rules and regulations that have to be followed. BBVRMA is a group of Professional Management Agencies that has helped shape the Private Home Rental Industy in Big Bear Valley and they are the most capable and best equipped agencies to help you navigate and comply with the Laws regarding Private Home Rentals.

Big Bear VRMA defended two local private home rental agencies against an ADA lawsuit brought by the same attorney who was involved in the original initiative.  On August 6, 2010, Federal District Judge Dolly Gee ruled in Big Bear VRMA’s favor and dismissed the lawsuit.  No appeal was filed.  The total cost for Big Bear VRMA’s defense in the ADA lawsuit was over $250,000.  Big Bear VRMA was able to lobby local allies and fundraise from sources both inside and outside of Big Bear Valley. The Big Bear Association of Realtors contributed $10,000 from its IMPAC funds.  Interboard solicitations contributed over $50,000.  The California Association of Realtors contributed $75,000.  Without the local and statewide CAR IMPAC funds, Big Bear VRMA would not have been able to defeat the ADA lawsuit.

There will be more efforts to thwart homeowners’ rights to rent their homes as vacation rentals, but with Big Bear VRMA in place and prevailing against these attacks, Big Bear property owners can feel confident that their rights will be protected.  Big Bear VRMA is a vigilant association endeavoring to protect homeowners’ rights and to allow for Big Bear to continue to prosper from this important industry.

The Future

Big Bear VRMA is seeking to include more members, including; Rental Management Agencies, Individual homeowners who rent their own homes, Real Estate partners, and community members and neighbors to join Big Bear VRMA to participate in protecting and unifying Private Home Rentals for the good of Big Bear Valley.