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Californians like it hot, Maui gets sued, Newport Beach restricts, Vrbo boosts

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Californians like it hot, Maui gets sued, Newport Beach restricts, Vrbo boosts

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It’s finally Friday!

One of the hottest pandemic-era getaway spots are California desert vacation rentals. Vrbo says there is a 15% jump in demand for vacation homes within a 500-mile radius of where someone lives. A day's drive, roughly the distance between Palm Springs and San Francisco, is what most people are looking for when vacationing. Close to 95% of the demand is for non-urban destinations. In Southern California, Vrbo is witnessing more demand for Palm Springs than it typically would in the slow summer season. A third of the guests are coming from Los Angeles, but other top origin cities are San Francisco, Phoenix and San Diego.

Hawaii owners and PMs are claiming their rights have been violated by restrictions placed on short-term vacation rentals on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. The group has filed a federal lawsuit against the county of Maui. The lawsuit said, some of the homeowners must cancel reservations and answer “potential claims” from customers as a result of the county’s action. Some owners had permits that would have allowed them to operate into 2021.

Honolulu-based lawyer Terrance Revere said, “Instead of grandfathering in existing permit holders, they told my clients — with no due process whatsoever,” He added their short-term rental housing permits “were being yanked away”.

In Newport Beach, California the city has placed restrictions on short term rentals. Rentals will be limited to people over 21 to help minimize the number of parties. Evidently, Newport Beach feels like Miami did last week.

Operators must have a “Nuisance Response Plan” to ensure owners take responsibility for issues with their guests and say how they will deal with unruly guests. Owners will be required to include their rental permit number on all advertisements so that the city can identify legal and illegal property rentals. City staff will work with online platforms to reduce and eliminate illegal rentals.

Vrbo is giving out increased ratings for hosts that refunded 100% for March and April. Here is what Vrbo is doing for those hosts:

  • If you went above and beyond our policy expectations and provided full refunds, credits or flexible rebooking options: corresponding listings will receive ranking increases equivalent to getting a 5-star review, and an icon and recognition on the property page 
  • If you met our policy expectations, listings will receive a smaller ranking increase
  • If you did not meet our policy expectations, listings will receive a ranking decrease equivalent to getting a 1-star review

Some of you already know this because….  you recently got that email from Vrbo telling you what they’re doing with your listings.  Hopefully, OwnerRez clients got the boost and not the decrease!