The Department of Planning and Permitting this week announced the creation of an online complaint form for the public to request an investigation of a suspected illegal vacation rental, or an illegal short-term rental advertisement.

The form’s website, which is available 24 hours a day, can be found by clicking here.

It includes a list of FAQs — for example, “I only rent out my house for 30 days or more at a time. Do I need to register?” Answer: No.

According to a press release from DPP, the identity of persons making complaints will be kept confidential.

Screen shot from the city’s new online short-term rental complaint form website. Screenshot/2019

The website comes via Ordinance 19-18 — also known as Bill 89, which mandates DPP implement a complaint system for short-term vacation rentals.

The new law also requires the department to respond to complainants within 30 days.

The complaint “must identify the address of the suspected illegal vacation rental, provide facts that cause the complainant to believe a violation has occurred, and provide the complainant’s address where the director may send a response,” says the press release.

Since the enforcement of Ordinance 19-18 began Aug. 1, DPP inspectors have issued 242 notices of violation to owners of suspected illegal vacation rentals. Many were the result of residents’ complaints.

That compares with just 39 notices of violation in 2018.

Said Kathy Sokugawa, DPP acting director, “Nearly every day we receive information about suspected illegal short-term rentals. We want to continue this support by providing this online form so the public is aware of what specific kinds of information is needed for the department to issue notices of violation. This will increase the pace of (notices) being issued.”

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