Prohibition on private home rentals

Prohibition on private home rentals

Dear Editor:


The city’s current prohibition on private home rentals is short-sighted and harmful.


The city of San Miguel currently prohibits all private home rentals until the start of “Phase 3” of its COVID-19 reopening plan and has not indicated when Phase 3 will begin. At the same time, however, it allows hotels to accept guests as part of the city’s Phase 1. There is no logic to this different treatment of hotels versus private homes. Moreover, it is a short-sighted policy that hurts SMA’s economic recovery.


Many potential visitors to SMA—especially those hoping to stay for a week or more—want to stay in a private home, not in a hotel. Indeed, if they have no option to stay in a private home, they will not come to SMA at all. Instead, they will visit another city or even another country. The money they would have spent on SMA restaurants, shops, and entertainment will be spent elsewhere. SMA’s business community is a big loser under this policy. 


Within the last month, we have received numerous inquiries from families or other groups to rent our San Miguel home, including three for a period of one month each. But we have had to tell those potential guests that we cannot now rent to them. Those guests will not be renting a “collection” of hotel rooms for their needs. They will simply not come to SMA until, and unless, they can rent a private home.


Moreover, those prospective guests know that COVID-19 risks can more easily be managed in a private home versus in a hotel. That is yet another reason they will not come to SMA until they can rent a private home.


Hence, for the benefit of all concerned, the city should permit private homes to begin accepting guests, just as hotels are now allowed to do. 



William Meyer