Are there local regulations for Sniffspot?
We require our hosts to comply with all local laws, regulations, and zoning ordinances. While we do not provide legal advice, we can provide you with helpful guidelines to consider, such as:
General: while we cannot comment on any specific local rules, we find that many local jursidictions do not have rules that clearly apply to Sniffspot, because it is a new thing. When we have seen hosts that run into issues with local governments it is often due to a complaint. Many local governments are more complaint-oriented, where they respond to complaints and try to resolve them. When a local government is responding to a complaint, they may be more negative on a new thing, such as Sniffspot, even if there are not local rules that clearly apply to Sniffspot. Many enforcement organizations have broad latitude in interpreting existing rules. We encourage our hosts to ensure that they are good neighbors to avoid complaints. We encourage our hosts to proactively engage with neighbors and local governments.
Business License: many jurisdictions require a business license for any kind of money-making activity. We recommend checking your local jurisdiction website and getting a business license proactively if needed. If required, in most cases, it is straightforward to get a business license. Every local government varies widely in their allowances and restrictions for property owners, so we recommend researching your local rules and working with a local lawyer if it makes sense to do so. Below are some general guidelines that we have found helpful to ensure that cities don't misunderstand Sniffspot, but make sure to customize this for your specific situation:
- I am renting my yard from time to time to local dog owners by the hour who use this space to safely walk their dog.
- This is an important public service because many dog owners do not have private space to walk their dog and I can provide a good space for this. This helps our city by lowering the density of dogs in public parks, reducing dog waste that is not picked up in public areas and keeping dogs safe.
- This is not a home occupation, I am just renting space on my property from time to time to one dog owner at a time. This is only the rental of part of my property, I am not renting the full property to the dog owners. I will continue to live and be located on the property while renting my yard.
- This is not a kennel. Dog owners renting my yard may not leave their dogs at any time—the owners are required to remain present and maintain custody and control of their dogs at all times while walking their dog in my yard. I am not providing any services to the dog.
- Only one rental is permitted at a time—i.e., I will not have multiple sets of dog owners using my yard simultaneously
- I will comply with all local regulations around noise, available hours, number of dogs on the property and number of visitors.
Remitting Taxes: Most jurisdictions require that taxes be submitted for earnings collected.
Zoning Laws: Some cities have laws that regulate the way you can use your home. You can find such laws in the zoning or planning codes or the city ordinances. For zoning purposes, Sniffspot is generally not to be considered a home occupation and not a public dog park but instead the rental of a private portion of a host's property for one booking at a time. If you have further questions or concerns, you can contact your local municipality.
Other: There can be other laws and regulations that could apply to your listing. Be sure to check with your local government if you have specific questions or concerns.Different jurisdictions have different requirements for business licenses and, due to the nature of local requirements, we do not provide guidance on specific local requirements for any hosts. If required, in most cases it is very easy to get a business license. We require our hosts to comply with all local laws, regulations and zoning.
If you are approached by a city, state or other government organization regarding your spot, please email [email protected] to notify us.
If you have further questions, it may helpful to speak with a tax professional, your local municipality, or a lawyer.
Ready to host? You can learn more and get started here.