Fines to start soon for unregistered Lake Placid rentals
LAKE PLACID — More than 100 short-term vacation rental properties in Lake Placid remain unregistered. Property owners who don’t apply for a permit soon face fines for noncompliance.
The North Elba Town Council and Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees adopted a law regulating short-term vacation rentals in March after years of debate. Though the law has been in effect since March 19, and property owners were given a 90-day window to apply for a permit, lawmakers decided to postpone enforcement of the law until July 31 after some applicants said they couldn’t complete the permit application requirements because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Wednesday, 388 property owners have applied for permits, according to code enforcement officer Michael Orticelle. The Building and Planning Department sent out letters to 138 non-compliant properties on Aug. 10.
“There were some mistakes; some sent to the wrong address,” Orticelle said.
At least 106 properties remained in noncompliance as of Wednesday. Even if the owner of a vacation rental isn’t planning to accept bookings for the rest of the year, if the property is listed online, the owner is still required to apply for a permit, Orticelle has said.
The department plans to send out another warning letter next Monday, Orticelle said. After that, the fines will start.
The fine for the first week of noncompliance is $350. There’s a different fine for each subsequent week.
“There’s a consequence for not complying with the law, and it will happen soon,” Orticelle said.
A short-term rental complaint line for town and village residents went live on July 31.
Since then, the Building and Planning Department has received 51 complaints, according to Orticelle.
“Overall, the system is working,” he said. “The short-term rental law requires everybody who applies for a permit to identify a 24-hour-a-day contact person. If a complaint is lodged, the system automatically calls that contact person. That has been working very well.”
Most of the complaints that have come in through the new Host Compliance hotline have been related to noise, according to Orticelle. There has been one report of a rental that’s over occupancy limits, and one report of a parking violation.
“No fines have been issued yet,” he said.
Complaints can be filed by phone, at 518-516-5222, or online at safe.hostcompliance.com/north-elba-ny/tips/type.
How to apply for a permit
-Permit applications must be completed by a rental owner. Prior to starting the application, the town and village have suggested that property owners have all of their application materials ready, including:
¯ A site plan
¯ An information and signature page for all members with ownership interest
¯ 24/7 emergency contact information
¯ An occupancy tax registration certificate from Essex County
¯ Information on the type of short-term rental being operated
¯ SWIS (Statewide Information System) code — the town of North Elba’s code is 154089; the village of Lake Placid’s is 154001
¯ Parcel identification number, which can also be found in a number of places, including at essex-gis.co.essex.ny.us
¯ A map and description of a parking plan provided to guests
¯ Chimney inspection report (if applicable)
¯ Septic inspection report (if applicable)
¯ A copy of the deed.
Relevant forms and details of submissions are available on the town’s STR page at www.northelba.org/?page=government/code-enforcement/short-term-rental.
Orticelle has estimated that once rental owners have all of the required materials available, the application process can take no more than 15 minutes.
Permit fees are processed through Host Compliance and are due at the time of application. Fees range from $200 for a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom rental to $1,200 for a home with more than nine bedrooms. Payment can be made via a checking account or credit card. People who rent out their properties for fewer than 14 days each year still have to apply for a permit but don’t have to pay for permits.
The Building and Planning Department has 30 days to review each owner’s application materials and issue or deny the permit. Permits are emailed to owners. Permits must be renewed each year and expire on the second anniversary of issue date.
To complete an application, visit secure.hostcompliance.com/north-elba-ny/permit-registration. More information on the short-term rental registration program can be found on the town’s website at http://www.northelba.org/?page=government/code-enforcement/short-term-rental.