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Short-term rentals advised to comply with health orders

The county has received numerous complaints that vacation rentals are continuing to operate within the county, particularly in the Joshua Tree area, in clear violation of state and county public health orders that clearly prohibit their operation, and despite the Federal closure of Joshua Tree National Park.

The orders are clear in that lodging facilities may not operate except under very narrow exceptions that are unlikely to apply to vacation rentals in the county. Those exceptions are limited to the housing of critical infrastructure workers for purposes of performing such work, and designation by the state or county to house confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Violation of state and county health orders are crimes punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both.

The county is providing the following information to short-term vacation rentals that are continuing to operate:

-Vacation rentals currently operating within the county are required to cease operations immediately.
-Bookings for the foreseeable future should be immediately canceled.
-No new arrivals should be processed.
-No new reservations should be accepted until the State and County orders have been rescinded.
-Any current guests in a vacation rental should be immediately directed to return directly home to “shelter in place” or should remain sheltered in place within their vacation rental until further notice.

The county regards compliance with the state and county orders as a high priority and vital to the health and well-being of the people of San Bernardino County.

For information about the coronavirus crisis, visit the County’s coronavirus website at wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus. New information and resources have been added and the site is being updated daily. The public can also contact the coronavirus public information line from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (909) 387-3911, or email the County at coronavirus@dph.sbcounty.gov.

77 Responses to Short-term rentals advised to comply with health orders

  • Can you please clarify whether the one immediate household restriction announced on May 15 for short term rentals continues to apply? I have seen conflicting guidance/interpretations/assumptions now that hotels are open without such a restriction. Thanks for all the County’s work to keep our communities safe!

  • Is there a limit to the number of days per year a short term rental (AirBNB) can be rented out?

  • Are hotels open for Leisure stays now?

  • I have a question about I have gotten an citation because of my property not being up to code well how am I supposed to get it up to code when things have just reopened like the city dump the week of the things getting back to normal I get a citation that Tuesday for quite a bit of a fine three different citation at once someone please help me with what am I supposed to do

  • Airbnb is important to a lot of people.
    Can a daily update be posted to allow us to start rebooking please?
    I’m barely hanging on

  • Can Short Term Rentals in Lake Arrowhead now open?

  • Hello – are monthly rentals permitted to local people if booked through Airbnb? Generally monthly rentals fall under a different set of rules than short term, but I want to make sure… Thank you.

    • it appears that longer-term (month to month) rentals to people in the area are permitted as part of the exempt “critical infrastructure” category of workers:

      “Workers responsible for the leasing of residential and commercial properties to provide individuals and families with ready access to available housing.”

      and that providing housing (monthly) is different than leisure travel or tourism lodgings (shorter term).

      The County orders have been rescinded about new arrivals processed, etc., so we are only dealing with the state of CA orders now…

      • Of course you can rent long term. anything over 30 days is outside of their control. And the Exemption of “Critical Infrastructure” category is also for STRs. Thats why Hotels remained open. At this time nobody is allowed to rent to Leisure or Tourist lodging, including hotels.

  • In yesterday’s briefing they mentioned the county health order has been lifted. But the Stay at home still is the main factor in not opening STRs. And it sounded like the list that would include STR for the modified phase 2 for the Governor to sign has not yet been sent to Newsom. And this statement is not political, but one of the Representatives said and I quote “i do not want to be taken out to the shed for my decision” What kind of leadership is that? There were points of view I do not agree upon, but to have no point of view is unacceptable in a leadership position.
    Hotels are open all over SB, why? Because they are housing essential workers. Whats the difference at this point. If the county did not enforce any of the guidelines they have had in place the last 2 months why do we think they are going to enforce them now? They are forcing STR owners to make their own decisions. Safety is our property as PMs of STRs. And we are armed with cleaning products and have all the PPE protection we need for our employees. So we plan on just opening up now. The county can sit around stall as long as they want. They can play catch up to us, they had 2 months to get their crap together. I am not saying throw caution to the wind. I am saying use the new OSHA requirements for you workers, and use cleaning procedures above and beyond. You should have been doing this before covid. Set up a hotline for customers to report unsafe conditions and call it a day.

    • I suspect the difference is that subsidizing large, centralized housing for essential workers, on the backs of taxpayers, is more cost-effective and could aid in limiting community spread, which is better detected and isolated the closer it is to long exposures like “communal” living in hotels. Short-terms don’t offer these benefits to taxpayers nor protections for guests, essential workers or otherwise, plus the cost is invariably greater when STR “apps” insist on their cut barring a covid-related cancellation. Any successful rental under these conditions would reward the third party “vendor” with their fee, meaning very wealthy private interests bring in money for doing nothing, while the burden of making spaces safe is carried by the owners of STR property. This wild west, unregulated system would be to the detriment of public health and public money. Moreover, hotels provide employment for many and constitute for those many a full-time job with wages; STRs are a luxury for property-owners with an infinitesimal amount of overhead compared to hotels and motels.

      I also don’t find your claims that every single STR owner or manager has all the equipment they need to be persuasive and plausible. Where’d you source such scarce equipment, across hundreds of thousands of STR owners? Ditto the idea that every property is being maintained at the prescribed high level of sanitation; not even hospitals can make such a hyperbolic claim, This needs to be backed by solid evidence, Do you have that?

      The county definitely failed the ill, elderly, and and infirm, as well as workers. But let’s not pretend state SIP orders didn’t help to keep our stats low. Now that local politicians are selling us the line that everything is contained (never explicitly acknowledging that it’s us residents and essential businesses who contained the spread), you can expect the economy to suffer further. The hope of the federal government is that we will ignore the fatal consequences of “opening” too early; I have a feeling SB consumers are savvier and more cautious than that. Risking your guests’s health is never going to be a winning move.

  • Just to Throw this Comment out there hotels and motels are not allowed to be open either. Which we know they are. Lodging and Short Term Rentals are in the same category.

  • Please advise on Short Term Rentals – can we open on May 15th??

  • We need clarification on short term rentals!
    Will we be able to operate this Friday as previously stated?

  • I’ve been doing some research and it seems that the update today is that SB County is no longer restricting STRs and they are working with the state to speed up the County’s progress through Stage 2, but until the County is able to arrange a variance from the state, allowing businesses in the County to move through the Stages faster than the rest of the state, we need to follow CA state guidance – here is a “roadmap” showing hospitality in the later part of Stage 2 (hopefully this means more remote/rural STRs) and also in Stage 3 (hopefully this means more concentrated locations): https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/

    I also found this link that shows, as of Friday, that NO lodgings in the state may open for leisure travel or tourism: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/

    That means motels, hotels, STRs, campgrounds, hostels, etc. in the entire state. So while Riverside and some other Counties have lifted their bans, until they get a variance from the State, they are also stuck with no STR reopenings…

    Hope this helps!

  • We pay property tax and county permit fee’s to operate a cabin in Big Bear along with inject money into the economy of Big Bear & San Bernardino County. Are you going to refund our property taxes and county permits? Also, is the board of supervisors willing to forego their salaries so we can all SACRIFICE together? Why should we be the only ones to sacrifice our lively hood’s?

  • Why are golf courses and several other business’s allowed to open up in Phase 2 but not a cabin short term rental in Big Bear??? So your logic is everyone can play golf, go to stores but not isolate in a cabin with their family? THIS MAKES ZERO SENSE! Our business is essential to us financially along with our cleaning crew & many others who help us maintain the cabin. Everyone should start calling and emailing Dawn Rowes office who represents Big Bear community ASAP!!

  • Why would motels be allowed to be open now even before the 15th of the month number one and this isn’t San Bernardino mind you, and number two why would we as short term rental homes in the Lake Arrowhead Inn Lake Gregory Big Bear Lake Area not be allowed to have clients when each of our homes is an isolated unit, and the motels and hotels the people are sleeping 6 in on the other side of the wall from each other and breathing recirculated air?! Tell me the social distance in the elevators?! Why are Airbnb and short term rental people always treated badly when the people behind it are actual competitors in the short term rental industries that existed for 50 to 80 years before Airbnb and other places allowed to homeowners to become the people making the money?! Just wanted to point these things out to all my friends I say blessings to you and your family during this most difficult time of stress and financial loss. I feel your pain * 3

  • Any updates about STRs opening .. they are opening lounges and such and plenty of other businesses. . what about with restrictions (same family etc.) County officials need to please show leadership and give us some guidance on timeline and any special conditions of the reopening! we pay plenty of taxes to the county both property tax and use tax and fees / permits etc. We are a part of the economy and deserve to have some answers as you can provide them. we are eager to provide SAFE spaces with enhanced cleaning and sanitation and support local businesses. the original intent was to not over run the hospitals and avoid community spread. If you really take a look at it . stores (target and walmart etc.) that have been open as essential get WAY more turn over than an STR will ever have in a day. . how is having one family sheltering/isolating in an STR worse than having thousands and thousands of persons coming in and out of a retail store and touching the same credit card terminals over and over (just one example).

    The governor said these local governments need to have the approval from their county health departments and board of supervisors to move forward.

    The Health department has now allowed it to happen . the supervisors need to act and start this stuff back up now!

    • I agree that we short term rental owners are losing for no apparent valid reason, as it can easily be controlled with single families spaced out. I have more inquiries than usual for May as people are desperate for a change of scenery. Please SB county consider and earlier opening for STRS in Lake Arrowhead before Memorial Day.

  • Hello,
    Can you please give us all an update?? We are hemorrhaging money by not being able to rent. Please give us an update on when we will be able to rent. Enough is enough!!

  • Hello again!

    Why are social-distance-capable STRs not included in the laundry list of “yes” and “no” businesses?

    And why are they excluded from the $30 million of grants that will be made to local small businesses (just because STRs rarely have W-2 employees) that have been harmed by the forced shut-down??

    We pay tons of taxes (property, TOT, sales), tons of fees (CalFire, County Permits), plus lots of contractor fees to local businesses (cleaning, building, maintenance, landscaping, road grading/snow clearing, water delivery, co-hosting, insurance and other services), make lots of local purchases, bring people to the area who spend money at other businesses, and have been crushed by the sudden slamming of our doors in the faces of thousands of people who had booked visits. We are totally hurting and should absolutely be eligible for these grants!

    When we “open the doors,” we don’t necessarily get any income because we need advance notice so we can accept advance reservations. So we need a firm date now, please!

    • Called motel 7 today and they and more are ooen for biz to non essential customers…air bnb is allowing dates to be booked after the 15th, but till we know county position we could be caught in a buzzsaw of bureaucracy if county wknt agree to same dates or even worse stay dark with this info till after that date and fine us or re ove short term licencing to those who jumped the gun according to them. Bias against air bnb hosting has become horrid in the lake arrowhead area even though we bring thousands of clients to their areas for all minds of lifestyles, now ot will only get tnighter i assume as they will say clients will ne coming from higher infected areas and bringing virus to the mountain. I can only assume that’s what they will say. Blessings to all in this difficult time but if we don’t come out of this soon there will be nothing to come out for.

    • Why would motels be allowed to be open now even before the 15th of the month number one and this isn’t San Bernardino mind you, and number two why would we as short term rental homes in the Lake Arrowhead Inn Lake Gregory Big Bear Lake Area not be allowed to have clients when each of our homes is an isolated unit, and the motels and hotels the people are sleeping 6 in on the other side of the wall from each other and breathing recirculated air?! Tell me the social distance in the elevators?! Why are Airbnb and short term rental people always treated badly when the people behind it are actual competitors in the short term rental industries that existed for 50 to 80 years before Airbnb and other places allowed to homeowners to become the people making the money?! Just wanted to point these things out to all my friends I say blessings to you and your family during this most difficult time of stress and financial loss. I feel your pain * 3

    • Amen, I agree 100% with everything Sheila said. The County really needs to look at providing some sort of clear guidance to STR’s on when we can reasonably start opening our calendars for reservations and move forward. STR’s are a vital part of our local economy, and yet we have been excluded from the vast majority of small business aid/grants/etc. provided to other types of businesses. The County needs to look long and hard at how they can offer some sort of assistance to STR operators as we move forward, especially given the thousands of dollars of fees, property taxes, permits and TOT revenue that we generate for the County coffers… not to mention the income we also help bring in to our local merchants. Thank you, Sheila.

    • Riverside County is allowing STRs starting today. Why aren’t we?

  • I understand there is a vote today at 4:00pm and that short term rentals will be one of the issues. Can you please let us know if you anticipate the short term rental order being modified/rescinded during the 4:00pm vote? Can you please post on this forum rather than just asking us to wait for an order? It appears that there is a big time delay between a vote and the public finding out what the outcome is.

    • Right? Why are short term rentals not mentioned in the phased re-opening plan? At least give us a light at the end of this tunnel.

  • Any update on short-term rental orders? The state is opening in some areas this Friday? Is there an opportunity to open short term rentals?

    • Have you gotten a response on this question since Golf courses are open this weekend, STR properties should be able to rent too.

  • When will you update your comments on this page? State of CA has updated their position. you should be updating yours!!! You guys are killing us economically. Please give us guidance on when the reopening will occur!

  • Hi when does the short term rental ban expire? Newsom just announced a restriction easing later this week.

  • They should allow short term rentals on the weekend with a 4 days pause in between. To totally shut it down for too long will force owners into foreclosure soon as the economy in BB is depending on tourists coming up. It is not clear if no rentals are allowed or over 30 days is ok.

  • Joe, I certainly appreciate your concern but you should also be very concerned about the economic destruction that is currently happening. Are you not worried about your town being destroyed economically? Restaurants and bars, salons, ice cream shops, hobby stores, etc all going out of business because a small number of folks who are at risk?

  • Please continue enforcing compliance with the orders. Mountain communities are inundated with visitors as many home owners have irresponsibly continued taking STR bookings despite the order to cease operations. We have ONE very small hospital to support the entire mountain region and a significant number of our full-time residents are retirees at increased risk. Visitors out and about increases the level of risk for residents and, while our hospital is amazing, they would be hard pressed to deliver care if there were a surge.

    • Joe, I certainly appreciate your concern but you should also be very concerned about the economic destruction that is currently happening. Are you not worried about your town being destroyed economically? Restaurants and bars, salons, ice cream shops, hobby stores, etc all going out of business because a small number of folks who are at risk?

      My father is in his 70s and picked up this bug in Jan and was down for a couple weeks but pulled through OK. Just an anecdote that hopefully gives you a little optimism. This bug is NOT a death sentence to the vast majority of people and to those that are concerned can stay home or wear masks.

  • Hello,
    I have a guest that has booked from April 5th to May 31st and my extend there stay until Sept. She is working from our home.
    Is it still ok for her to stay in place and am i allowed to still host her??
    Hosting in Morongo valley ca

  • I have a family member who needs a place to stay for a few days while they have some repairs done to their home, is that allowed? Not charging anything, 1 family. Thanks

  • I have complied with SBC and the state/county health mandate and have had every guest booking since the 8th of March canceled into May, 2020.
    According to an Airbnb email, the date in which rentals in SBC can continue again is May 1, 2020. Yet, I see nothing on your website to indicate that this date is official. Is it possible for SBC to put out a notification showing a date that Airbnb rentals can resume and under what guidelines? JTNP states it will be reopening soon. Are the Airbnb rentals to be in line with JTNP reopening?

    Thank you

    • Hi Jo Anne, San Bernardino County is in line with the State of California’s stay at home orders which are indefinite at this time. As soon as the state lifts restrictions or gives an end date, we will post that information.

  • Hi when does the vacation rental ban expire ? Is it in effect in may ?

    • Hi Steve, the state’s stay at home order is indefinite at this time and as soon as we have an end date from the state we will let the public know.

      • Hello, do you know what phase of reopening short term rentals would fall under?

        • Hi Rob, we are waiting for more information from the Governor. As soon as we know what the state guidelines are we will let the public know.

          • Per the CA Governor yesterday, the Stay at Home order won’t end until stage 4. Why can’t we “stay at home” in someone else’s home? I don’t think it is reasonable to wait until stage 4. Isn’t there a compromise that can happen for STR?

    • I called the governors office yesterday Apr 30 and was told there are no specific restrictions on inter-county travel and no bans specifically on short term rentals and that it’s up to each county. That said, STR fall under “non-essential travel / business” so that must be where the restriction lies. Counties that rely heavily on tourism should consider getting permission to enter Phase 2 which will open up non-essential business again, including short term rentals. El Dorado county has already asked permission to enter Phase 2 and SB county should do the same.

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