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Tahoe leaders crack down on Airbnb and Vrbo rentals during stay-at-home order

People headed to the mountains for the holidays are causing concern about an influx in short term rentals violating the state's stay-at-home order

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — People living in South Lake Tahoe are not happy to see thousands of tourists coming to stay in short term rentals around their neighborhoods violating the state’s stay-at-home order.

“If I were to catch COVID, I’m worried about our medical services being at capacity,” said Tim Coolbaugh, who lives in South Lake Tahoe.

El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel said the same thing is happening in the county on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe.

“I have reports from our hospital that there are people coming up that know that they are positive for COVID and still are coming up, so there is a real danger that we are seeing in our communities “ Novasel said.

As a result, Placer County, El Dorado County and Truckee leaders wrote a letter to vacation rental giants Airbnb and Vrbo asking for help that would stop short-term rentals during the current stay-at-home order.

“We asked them for three things. One was to inform all owners of the stay-at-home order, not just the owners but also the guest. Secondly, we asked them to provide full refunds if people made a choice not to come, and the third thing we asked, if you won’t send the message yourself, will you provide us with access to those that are renting, so that we can send another message out,” said Cindy Gustafson, a Placer County Supervisor.

Airbnb and Vrbo are complying with two of the three requests, but the town of Truckee took it a step forward at Tuesday night's city council

“If you violate a public health order that’s also a violation of non compliance,” said Jennifer Callaway, Truckee town manager.

Homeowners who continue to operate short-term rentals in Truckee can get up to a $1,000 dollar fine.



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