Jason Glidden, Park City economic development project manager, said that safety is the city's number one concern when working with the building and finance departments on vacation rental compliance software.
The software generates a list of suspected non-compliant properties," Glidden said. "The City's Code Enforcement will then have to verify whether the property is non-compliant."
"The software generates lists and finds properties posted online, identifying those that are not compliant," Glidden said. "We can then hopefully educate them on licensing with the city."
According to the Park City building department, an inspection must be completed before a business license application can be reviewed and granted. The information needed for an inspection is a building permit number, the address of the property, the type of inspection needed and the preferred day and time for the inspection.
Glidden said that safety has always been an issue with the increased popularity of websites like Vacation Rentals Owner (www.vrbo.com). The rise in popularity of the online rental sites has allowed property owners to market rental properties easily, he said, and the property owner may not be familiar with the city's licensing process.
"Our reasoning for the software is first and foremost safety," Glidden said. "The inspections completed by the building department ensure the safety of all properties for the people staying in them."
He said that members of the Park City Lodging Association are compliant, but it is the homeowners who rent out their property that need to become more aware.
In the meantime, property management companies are in the process of renewing their licenses for the coming ski season.
Ronald Trinidad, account manager for the Park City Lodging Association, said the process changed in September, and City Hall has not provided the lodging association with a clear procedure about for applying for licenses for new properties.
"The timing is a big concern, since the winter season is coming up," Trinidad said. "We will have to call for inspections, but we do not know how soon they will be able to complete them."
He said that they cannot apply for new business licenses for the properties until inspections are complete, which is the main concern.
Despite the changes in procedure, he said, the Park City Lodging Assocation properties are still up to date with licensing. They are just searching for a way to renew the licenses.
The homeowners who list properties for rent need to apply for brand new licenses, and the software Glidden is working to get for the City will help to identify them.
Glidden said that the software has yet to be discussed at City Council meetings because, while they have conducted a request for proposal, they are not through with contract negotiations with the company supplying the software.
He said that he is also working with the building department that completes code enforcement and the finance department that supplies the business licenses to the properties.
"We have to coordinate and see if we have the resources to properly use the software first," Glidden said. "We have to see if the city departments that will be utilizing the software have the resources needed to do so and properly educate non-compliant properties."