We’ve identified a few of the most common questions we have either had to answer ourselves or have had come up from those looking to enter the home rental market.

If there are any questions you still have that aren’t addressed here, feel free to contact us.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO RENT MY HOME ?

City and County Requirements Include:
  • Annual Registration, Applications and Fees
  • Training and Certification for Face to Face Check In, 24/7 Response and TOT payment
  • Exterior and Interior Inspections for Code Compliance
  • Exterior and Interior Signage requirements
  • Paved Parking and Snow Removal requirements
  • Emergency Exit Routes, Bedroom Emergency Egress, Pathway Lighting, Locking Mechanisms
  • Fire Extinguishers, CO Detectors/Alarms, Smoke Detectors/Alarms
  • Fireplace Spark Arrestors, Tree Limb Clearance, Ash Disposal, Combustible Clearance
  • Plumbing Fixtures, Appliances, Hot Tubs, Spas, Locking Covers
  • Deck Certifications, Decks with Spas Certifications
  • Steps, Stairs, Railings and Handrails
  • Extension Cords and Exposed Wiring
  • Main Entrance Illumination

 

WHAT IS BIG BEAR VRMA?

BBVRMA – Is comprised of Homeowners and local Professional Vacation Rental Management Agencies
  • Is a 10 year old Non Profit representing the interests of Vacation Rentals
  • Is comprised of local Professional Vacation Rental Management Agencies
  • Was originally formed to defend against a lawsuit from a Bed & Breakfast Owner who  wanted to eliminate vacation rentals
  • Has successfully defeated 2 lawsuits and a Citizens Initiative to eliminate vacation rentals
  • Has cooperatively worked with the City of Big Bear Lake and County of San Bernardino to re-write their Vacation Rental Ordinance for the benefit of all concerned – including the neighbors of Vacation Rentals
  • Created and paid for the first 24/7 Response Hotline for complaints about vacation rentals
  • Meets with City and County Staff regularly to identify and resolve issues related to PHRs

 

SHOULD I HIRE A RENTAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY TO RENT MY HOME FOR ME?

Renting just one home can be a daunting task and require more time and effort than second homeowners have. Professional rental management companies have the resources, staff and experience to not only navigate the homeowner through the initial registration process with the City or County but Management Companies can handle everything from booking (around your schedule), Face to Face check in, 24/7 response to complaints, 24/7 maintenance and all the annual applications and renewals.

Homeowners who have hired Management Companies often find they do a lot less work and their rentals generate a lot more income than if they try and rent their homes themselves. This is mostly because the Management Companies have much more exposure when it comes to finding renters, private homeowners simply cannot compete with the millions of dollars in advertising spent by the management companies and businesses in Big Bear Valley to get renters to come up at ALL times of year. Big Bear VRMA has worked hard to expand the exposure of Private Home Rentals and keep them regulated and protected so second homeowners can continue to enjoy the benefits of renting their second home in Big Bear Valley.

 

IF I CHOOSE TO RENT MY HOME MYSELF WHY DO I NEED TO PAY MAINTENANCE WORKERS, CLEANERS, AND OTHERS AS STAFF OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?

The IRS and EDD (State of California) has really cracked down on the filing of W2 and 1099 forms for employees and contractors. Many maintenance workers, handy men, cleaners, landscapers, and other people who can help you work on your rental home do this type of work in their spare time. It’s easy for them to be available on weekends and holidays when they are not at a regular job. In the past homeowners have paid for work or cleaning ‘under the table with cash’.

 

Now with the IRS cracking down on becoming much more serious about Tax Fraud and the payment of “Independent Contractors” there have been a large number of homeowners that are now being audited because of their income from their second home but no expenses or filed 1099 or W2 forms associated with cleaning, maintenance, rental, booking etc… The only legal way to meet these IRS and EDD (state of California Economic Development Department) requirements is to file a 1099 or W2 form for each worker including housekeeping staff even if they only do work for you very infrequently. Management Companies can handle these legal issues for you so you as the home owner do not have to issue any W2 or 1099 forms to anyone, keeping the IRS or EDD from auditing you personally.

 

WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY THE CITY “TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY TAX (TOT)”?

California Revenue and Taxation Code 7280 lets the local legislative body (either City of Big Bear Lake or San Bernardino County) collect a Transient Occupancy Tax from travelers when they rent accommodations (a room, rooms, entire home, or other living space) in a hotel, inn, tourist home or house, motel, or other lodging unless the stay is for a period of 30 days or more. This tax is used by the local governing agency to help offset the extra costs incurred from having both traditional lodging (lodges, hotels, inns) and Private Home Rentals. The Private Home Rental industry as a whole pays over 3.5 million dollars annually to the City of Big Bear Lake, the city has realized this important revenue stream and its benefits to the community as a whole and has worked with Big Bear VRMA to regulate and protect Private Home Rentals which help the Homeowner, the Management Company if one is used, the City and the Community at large by helping keep tax dollars at the local level.