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Lake Placid to switch rental enforcement software

LAKE PLACID — A Colorado-based company, MuniRevs, is taking over the back end of Lake Placid’s vacation rental regulation enforcement.

The Building and Planning Department is currently in the process of transitioning from using Host Compliance software to a program through MuniRev’s short-term rental arm, LODGINGRevs, to help it enforce the local short-term vacation rental regulations.

Property owners who have permits to operate a short-term vacation rental in Lake Placid should get an email in the next few weeks asking them to sign up for an account on the new platform, according to Code Enforcement Officer Michael Orticelle. Once property owners sign up for an account, they should be able to do everything online, such as renewing their permit or updating their contact information.

Throughout the past few months, Host Compliance has provided the local code enforcement office with a variety of information, such as how many properties in Lake Placid are being rented out as vacation rentals, to help the office enforce the village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba’s joint vacation rental law.

“We left the other company mostly for administrative reasons,” Orticelle said Monday. “Their customer service wasn’t what it should’ve been, it waned over the year, and we had no administrative power, really, to do any changes that would be helpful for owners — transferring properties and so forth.”

Host Compliance also operated a 24/7 vacation rental complaint hotline that fielded calls from residents on behalf of the code enforcement office. A new hotline will be established soon, but in the meantime, residents should call or email the Building and Planning Department with complaints about vacation rentals, according to Orticelle. The department’s office number is 518-523-9518.

The switch to LODGINGRevs is expected to save the department somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000 per year, according to Orticelle. The new software will also provide the department with more information, such as how many days a property has been rented in any given year. That function is expected to give the department some support as it enforces the village’s 90-day cap and the town’s 120-day cap on rental occupancy. These occupancy caps are only applicable to units where the owner doesn’t live full-time. The occupancy caps also don’t apply to properties on Main Street, Sentinel Road and on portions of state Route 86. Property owners can contact the Building and Planning Department for information specific to their units.

The fine for the first week of noncompliance with the law is at least $350, according to the law. Each week that the violation continues is counted as a separate law violation. When a property owner violates the law a second time within five years of the first offense, there’s another fine of at least $1,000. The code enforcement office has the ability to revoke a property owner’s rental permit. Property owners have the option of appealing any decision the office makes to the Short Term Rental Appeals Board within 30 days.

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