BYCCA Rental Committee Update – May 2022
Over the past year, the following people have served on ad hoc and subsequent standing committee reviewing & managing the Short-Term Rental Program at BYC:
Kayla Picciano, Nancy Sandstrom, Peter Jaroff, Dale Klubertanz, Brian Barnes, Sean Gray, Sheldon Goldberg, Jeff Garrett
Over the past two years there has been an unprecedented increase in short-term rental occupancies throughout the area (as well as in many tourism destinations). What may have previously been 30-40% occupancy within the May-October season, we are now seeing 80-90% occupancy with more units open 12 months a year. This trend has certainly impacted the numbers of rentals and visitors to BYC and convinced the Rental Committee and BYCCA Board of the need for a solid program that is appropriate and enforceable for this community.
The Short-Term Rental Program requires a multi-faceted approach:
- Enforcement – Clear and enforceable Policies and procedures that align with our community and that are accepted and incorporated into Rental Agency listings and ongoing management.
- Structure & Communication – Multi-layered information & communication with renters that maximizes their compliance with our expectations. This too requires buy-in from Rental Agencies.
The following actions have been in-progress through the Rental Committee and the BYCCA Board of Directors:
1. Full review and update of:
- Rental Policy Resolution – This defines the policies and expectations for all parties involved with short term rental program.
- The Rental Agency Management Contract – this defines the rules and expectations for the Rental Management Agencies, renewed annually.
- The Rental Owner Short Term Rental Notice – Annual submission of this notice is required from Rental Owners, provides BYCCA with specific information required.
All forms can be found on the Rental Policies & Resources page of BYCCA website.
2. Rental Fee:
Research and consideration of a Rental Fee (3.5% of Gross Booking Fee) to be charged to the visitor when booking a reservation for BYC rental. This consideration has and continues to include:
- Ongoing assessment of increased direct costs and indirect costs incurred by BYCCA resulting from Short Term Rental Program.
- Full review of BYCCA By-Laws and Declarations identifying legal considerations.
- 2022 – A year of review: Expenses related to Short-Term Rental will be specifically tracked as able, with full review in Fall, 2022 for further steps.
3. Satisfaction Survey:
The Rental Committee & BYCCA Board recognized the difficult of assessing indirect costs related to the Rental Program. This led to the recent “Satisfaction Survey” of the community with a goal of getting a current picture of community opinions. This survey was completed in April with similar but separate surveys going to Rental Owners and non-Rental Owners. Key Summary Comments are included at the end of this report. It is worth taking the time to read through this detail to get a current picture of the range of community opinions. The Rental Committee will likely repeat a similar survey in the late fall to assess the changes/trends.
4. Rental Violation Protocols:
The Rental Violations Protocols have been updated and adopted by the BYCCA Board on May 17, 2022. We stress in this update that initial complaints / violations be reported to the appropriate RENTAL AGENCY (call) and Rental Unit OWNER (call or email). Contact information for each of these is found on the BYCCA website in member listings. Our goal is to get the quickest response to the complaint, which is the responsibility of the Rental Agency on behalf of the owner. The BYCCA Director should be called with all details if this does not occur.
5. Quarterly Reviews:
The Rental Committee has and will be reviewing the following information quarterly:
- Rental data provided by Rental Agencies (occupancies, average # nights, average # of people).
- Violations rising to a valid complaint will be reviewed quarterly (trends, define solutions,…).
- Review of issues or concerns with Rental Management Agencies. This information will be used to assess any contract renewal in the future as well as any need to update / improve the contract itself.
- Review of Direct Costs to BYCCA with the primacy cost being BYCCA Director time.
- Annual Review of Rental Management Agency websites and listing to ensure compliance.
6. BYCCA Common Expectations and Rules:
There has also been proactive work done on behalf of the Rental Program to ensure renters have received and agree to BYCCA Expectations and Rules.
- A separate Renters page for BYC Renters has been added to the BYCCA website (QR codes for this page will be provided through Rental Agencies as well as within their rental units).
- A standing sign is in all units providing a positively presented list of rules and expectations.
- Scan code to calendar of events within BYC, providing more engagement with and understanding of our community.
7. Looking Ahead:
Efforts are ongoing researching all legal options relative to management of Short-Term Rentals. It is important for current and future boards to have full understanding of our legal standing in this area.
- Continue to monitor all direct and indirect costs (quarterly) with recommendation on potential assessments by September15, 2022.
- Review all rental violations and responses.
- Prepare for short follow up survey to community in late Fall (Satisfaction Survey Folllow-up).
- Define process and responsibilities for Fall Rental Agency Contracts and Unit Owner Rental Notices for 2023.
Brickyard Creek Community Follow-up Survey Focused on Rental Opinions
Results analyzed by Kevin K. Stranberg Stranberg & Associates – Ashland, Wisconsin
Representatives from the Brickyard Creek Community Association contact Kevin K. Stranberg of Stranberg & Associates to create and analyze a follow-up survey to BYC owners focused on owner opinions concerning rental of BYC properties. In order to drill down on specific concerns or issues, a separate survey with overlapping questions was created. One for owners who rent out their property and one for owners who do not rent out their property.
From the individuals who completed the survey, the following observations seem evident:
N = Non-Rental | R = Rental
- While the group that does not rent out their property had a strong response (68%), the owners who rent had an acceptable percentage of responses (36%). More reliable conclusions can be drawn from the non-rental group of owners. It is not that the responses from the rental group of owners is invalid, it is simply that it has a lower degree of validity.
- Two respondents expressed that the issues concerning rental properties are severe enough that they are considering selling and moving. One respondent was a property owner who rents out and one was a non-rental owner.
- Individuals who do not rent out their property have owned at BYC longer than the individuals who answered the survey as individuals who rent out their property (Over 7 years – N: 63.33%, R: 22.22%).
- Nearly 6 of 10 of the individuals that completed one of the surveys and identified their age group (58%) fall into the “61 or older” category.
- Individuals who rent out their property and answered the survey are slightly younger on average than the non-rental owners who completed the survey (61 or older – R: 44.44%, N: 60%).
- Concerning usage of the properties, the most common overall response from both groups was “occasionally (at least monthly)” at 35% and “seasonal” at 27% of all respondents.
- The most common response from owners who do not rent was “often (at least monthly” while the most common response from owners who rent out their property was “occasionally (6 – 8 times a year).”
- The top three responses concerning features and amenities were “Love of Bayfield and Apostle Islands” (17.6%), “secluded wooded setting” (17.0%), and “peaceful escape” (16.7%).
- 25% of respondents had “no opinion” on “ideal percentage of rental to non-rental occupancy.”
- A significant discrepancy in respondents concerning “ideal percentage of rental to non- rental occupancy.”
- N – 89% stated “0 – 20% rental” 42 of 47
- R – 20% stated “0 – 20% rental” 2 of 5
NOTE: A similar question in 2020 community survey: 70% felt anything over 30% was too high
- A large difference in responses to the question “Would you support a limit on the number of future rentals?”
- N – 63% yes
- R – 12.5% yes
- Comments on questions concerning positive and negative statements centered on a number of issues. Most common themes included:
- Owners should have the option to rent. That option should not be eliminated completely.
- Policies should be clarified and enforcement of them should be closely monitored.
- There is an immediate need to revamp the contract with booking agencies to assure an issue-free summer season to come.
- Renters of property in BYC should be given comprehensive information about the community, its mission, its strong sense of place and the expectations that all who are at BYC must respect.
- Review of current guidelines and restrictions should be done on a regular basis to assure all parties are heard. Issues mentioned include traffic, parking, garbage logistics and use of community amenities.
- Major operational issues including financial arrangements and maximum usage should be evaluated by the Rental Committee with recommendations to the BYCCA Board.
- Respondents to owners who rent out their property survey were generally new to renting their BYC property (44.44% were new renters in 2021). Only 2 of the 9 respondents have owned the property at least since 2017.
- Non-rental owners stated in significant numbers (71.19%) that the short-term rental program has not impacted their reason for being at BYC.