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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

San Juan proposes registry, license for short-term rentals

San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo

By The Star Staff

The city of San Juan wants to create a registry of short-term rentals to regulate the sector and avoid disputes in condominiums and neighborhoods.

San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced this week that he sent to the Municipal Assembly a draft ordinance containing the “Regulations to Establish the Short-Term Rental Registry in the Municipality of San Juan.” The city ordinance seeks to balance the economic activity and the interests of the communities.

“According to the most recent information obtained from the AirDNA digital database, there are about 3,700 active short-term rentals in the Capital this month. Of this amount, 3,225 are fully rented properties, such as houses or apartments,” the mayor said. “On average, the daily rate fluctuates for short-term rentals, around $150. Over the past 12 months, the median income from these rentals was approximately $2,434 per month.”

“It is necessary to emphasize that through this proposal, we are not seeking to propose a tax or excise tax on what these rentals generate,” the mayor said. “Instead, we want to create a license and a registry to ensure these rentals are in compliance and do not conflict with regulations of homeowners associations in residential areas and condominiums.”

The proposed Short-Term Rental Registry would identify the areas where short-term rentals are located so officials can monitor if the property complies with zoning laws. In addition, the city hopes to promote the quality of life, peace, security and health, along with the right to affordable housing, community character, and the general well being of the citizens of San Juan.

The license, Romero Lugo said, will allow the Municipality of San Juan to work for the balance between short-term leases and community interests.

The cost of the license in San Juan is significantly lower than in other municipalities. For instance, Dorado charges $1,000 for up to two residences or furnished units (eg: campers), $2,000 for up to four homes or furnished units, and $3,000 for five or more residences.

Under the regulation proposed for San Juan, the license and registration for a person who has a room to rent in their home would be $100 for the whole year. Meanwhile, the license and registration for a person with an entire house or apartment for short-term rental would be $500 for the whole year.

In addition, the proposed ordinance calls for a period of 180 days to establish all the municipal administrative scaffolding necessary to implement the regulation. After that period, the owners and/or managers would have an additional 180 days to comply with the license and registration requirements. During this process, the proposed measure provides that no moratorium would be halted or placed on short-term rentals in San Juan.

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