House Rules

April 19, 2012

Since I never go anywhere anymore, ever, I don’t have occasion to rent out my house here in the Napa Valley.  But my best friend has done so repeatedly, and I must say:  the post-rental walk-through is best performed under the influence of a bracing cocktail.

Renters who seem like normal human beings do the most abnormal things to other people’s property:  covering a stainless steel refrigerator with permanent stickers, making red wine in an upstairs bathroom and pouring it out the window – creating a red river down the side of the house, and barbecuing on the antique wood dining room table.  My friends with a beach house had all of the furniture from their living room dragged outside, presumably so that their renters could watch television al fresco, and returned to find the sofa stuck in a sand bar.

My own mother always seemed to rent to nice young girls who we would come to suspect were prostitutes, although they were always timely with the rent and never to my knowledge dragged the bed outdoors.  I’m assuming that prostitution is prohibited by our new local vacation rental ordinance, which is the subject of today’s column in the Star.

Legalizing long-banned short-term rentals is the city’s latest attempt to recapture some TOT (transient occupancy tax) revenue, which has been siphoned off by our friendlier neighbors.  But at this point, with city managers laying-off key staff and instituting tough budget cuts, perhaps they wouldn’t mind capturing a bit of TTOT (transient tart occupancy tax) as well.  Anybody ready to rent out their Napa Valley Villa by the hour?

Read House Rules in the Star…


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