As we quickly move from stage to stage on the State’s 4-Stage Roadmap towards reopening various segments of our economy during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the California Department of Public Health, in conjunction with CAL/OSHA, has published a series of implementation guidelines that are specific to a given segment or industry within our economy. These documents also reference materials and recommendations set forth by the Federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH), among others. There is a Real Estate guidance document that most are familiar with, which can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-real-estate.pdf . Once you have familiarized yourself with the Real Estate Transactions Guide, there is a check-list you can reference to refresh your memory as to key provisions. It can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/checklist-real-estate.pdf
However, the professional property manager that deals with Short-Term vacation rentals (STRs) is forced to absorb an additional wholly separate guidance document, one that is directed to Hotels, Lodging, and, as of the 05 June 2020 release date, now includes Short Term Rentals. While portions of this document speak more generally to high-density commercial enterprises such as hotels, many/most of these points would be applicable to the STR market, and should be incorporated into your office’s plan. There is an entire section (pages 11-13) that calls out “Additional Considerations for Short-Term Rental Units”. Within this STR-specific set of requirements, best practices, and suggested guidelines are twenty (20) individual bullet points! This document can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-hotels.pdf . There is also a short check-list that you can reference once you’ve read and understood the broader, more comprehensive document. This check-list can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/checklist-hotels.pdf
The importance of staying up-to-date on the Federal, State, local, and professional association publications (e.g., guidelines, orders, and declarations…), cannot be overstated; all of the aforementioned jurisdictions directions are intended to be adhered to by affected individuals and businesses. In theory, each builds upon the work of others, co-exists, and should be honored and implemented to the extent applicable to your particular situation. In addition to the hotlinks provided within this message, there are a number of websites that should be visited recurrently by the real estate professional to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information possible for your area. While this list is far from exhaustive, it seems prudent to recurrently check-in with your county’s Public Health Office (e.g., El Dorado, Placer, or Nevada County), as well as the California Dept. of Public Health (CDPH), CAL/OSHA, the Governor’s Office, and your California Association of Realtors® (CAR) for updated information. Be aware, while we are accelerating through the stages of reopening California’s businesses and leisure activities, an indication that the rate of infections is increasing beyond the established metrics (which are designed to ensure that a surge in new cases does not overwhelm our capacity to treat them) will trigger action to return to a more restrictive stage. This can be triggered at the local level, or by the State, or in a worst-case scenario, even the Federal government could step in to contain the spread. Please heed the warnings, precautions, and best practices to protect yourself, your family, your clients, your co-workers, your business, your community, and ultimately our economy.