What is Pacaso?
Pacaso is the newest way for Silicon Valley bros and venture capital vultures to make a quick buck at your expense: By turning your neighbor’s house into what’s basically a glorified timeshare.
Forget the conference room sales pitch most of us associate with timeshares. Pacaso works quietly by buying up single-family properties under anonymous corporate shells and then resells “fractional" ownerships in the form of 1/8 of a furnished home. You may not realize the house next door sold to Pacaso until you see a revolving cast of guests pulling up every couple of days or weeks.
Originally called Niner Homes, Pacaso was founded in 2020 by Spencer Rascoff (Zillow Co-Founder) and Austin Allison who met when both were at Zillow.
You may have seen Pacaso’s advertising on billboards, Google, Facebook, Instagram, NextDoor or in your newspaper – they are making a big play for residential communities in areas that are considered vacation areas. They started in Northern California wine country and spread to SoCal - places that are in desperate need of more housing for their own communities.
Pacaso has now expanded nationally into the states of OR, CO, NC, FL,SC, WY, UT and internationally into the country of Spain.
Why is Pacaso bad for your neighborhood?
Pacaso fancies itself a “disrupter,” but the only thing it's disrupting is local neighborhoods by turning established homes into virtual hotels – except without paying transient occupancy tax (TOT) like other short-term lodging. By circumventing these fees and regulations, Pacaso is depriving local towns of sorely needed tax dollars, while lining their own pockets. Not that this argument is about TOT - it is about neighborhoods and regulations being ignored.
Pacaso is a Bully but Cities are fighting back:
Pacaso is a litigious bully. It sued the city of St. Helena in Napa Valley because St. Helena classifies Pacaso as a timeshare and won’t allow it. This case is tied up in Federal court at great expense to the City while Pacaso carries on 'business as usual' buying up 5 homes in the downtown residential area.
This lawsuit has not frightened cities who are tired of having their zoning regulations ignored by corporate greed. Cease and Desist Orders were served to Pacaso by South Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs in 2021 as well as an Urgency Order to ban Pacaso by the City of Sonoma. Find these orders listed on the Sample Documents page of this website.
JOIN OUR CONTACT LIST
Either click on the Get Involved tab on this website or email us at StopPacasoNow@gmail.com to join our list of allies. Also contact your local group working in a neighborhood near you. See the section below.
We have sample sign art on the Sample page of this website. We encourage you to create your own but always provide an email for them to connect.
Homemade signs work just as well. Check the photo gallery below for some ideas
WE ARE NOW ON TWITTER!
We need to be where Pacaso spends its time, and that is on Twitter. Please follow us @StopPacasoNow BTW, no surprise! Most of us have been blocked and are unable to retweet from @Pacasohomes
There are 3 local active Stop Pacaso petitions and one nationwide on Change.org. Let's keep them growing!
Note: Donations to Change.org do NOT go to our campaign, if you would like to donate, see below.
STOP Change.org : http://chng.it/ndh87rvTYT
NOPE Change.org : http://chng.it/PGT9RtxJv2
SCAT Change.org: https://chng.it/BzRftX4jFY
National SPN: https://chng.it/pfywKm9Yqd
CONTACT LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Regulations need to be created to protect our Cities and Counties against the rise of this newest way to skirt short term rentals! Write emails and attend meetings - make your voice heard! Check our Sample page for sample letters and the sample Cease and Desist Orders.
WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Pacaso is advertising heavily. They have run half page ads in the local paper and full page in national papers. Write letters to the Editor and educate your neighbors about Pacaso. Sample letters can be found on this website's Sample Documents page.
USE NEXTDOOR AS A TOOL TO ORGANIZE
Nextdoor.com is a useful tool in educating and organizing your neighbors. Let them know what is happening, encourage them to connect with you, create a Stop Pacaso group on your Nextdoor.
BE AWARE WHEN A HOUSE GOES UP FOR SALE
If you have a 'Pacaso-style' home in your neighborhood, be aware it may be targeted by Pacaso. They will offer more than any other potential buyer. Why? To build their portfolio of homes and to be able to resell the shares at a higher price (and make 12% fee on each share sold).
Pacaso filed a federal lawsuit on April 6 challenging the city's determination that Pacaso's shared homes amount to timeshares, which are prohibited by city code.
The lawsuit alleges a due process violation, selective enforcement, and invalid use of municipal authority. It seeks a judgment declaring that Pacaso isn't subject to St. Helena's timeshare ban.
St. Helena's Municipal Code defines a timeshare as "an ownership or leasehold estate in property devoted to a time-share fee (tenants in common, time span ownership, interval ownership) or a time-share lease."
Pacaso owned or managed five St. Helena homes at the time the suit was filed.
This lawsuit is still held up in Federal Court costing the City $$$$. The suit not only charged the City but also the City Attorney, the City Mayor and the City Planning Director - who does that? Litigious bullies with deep pockets and no conscience do!
U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick ruled to dismiss one of the lawsuit's five "causes of action" against the city by applying California's anti-SLAPP statute, which is intended to prevent plaintiffs from using lawsuits to interfere with people exercising their free speech rights in connection with public issues.
Pacaso's fifth cause of action accused the city and City Attorney Ethan Walsh of "intentional interference with prospective economic advantage," citing letters Walsh sent to local real estate offices, Pacaso and Pacaso homeowners stating that St. Helena's timeshare ban also applies to co-ownership. Walsh's letters to real estate agents didn't specifically mention Pacaso, but the company's lawsuit claimed that the letters "scared real estate agents and chilled their efforts to buy and sell ownership interest in Pacaso properties." However, Orrick ruled that Walsh's statements were protected by the anti-SLAPP statute because they "were made in connection with an issue under consideration by a legislative body."
To read the pleadings of the case filed by Pacaso against the City of St. Helena and the changes to the ordinance, go to the Sample Documents page.
On March 1, 2022, The Planning Commission voted 5-0 in support of an ordinance that would overhaul the city’s timeshare regulations for the first time since 1982 and redefine “time-share” to explicitly ban fractional ownership plans like Pacaso’s in residential zoning districts.
For several days prior to the City Council vote, Pacaso engaged in a smear campaign disparaging the City Council and implying the City was suing Pacaso as opposed to the other way around.
Residents received unsolicited text messages, outsourced phone surveys, printed mailers and even a door to door survey campaign spreading untruths about the Council.
On March 22, 2022, The St. Helena City Council voted 5-0 in support of the changes to the timeshare ordinance that clearly state that real estate models like Pacaso are not allowed in residential zoning districts!!!
And on April 5, 2022, They again voted 5-0 for the new ordinance to go into effect in 30 days. The words of Council Member Lester Hardy sums it up well: "I am not surprised, but I am troubled by the persistent effort of Pacaso to confuse the public. . . . This ordinance does not prohibit, regulate, or affect any of the many LLCs that own homes in St. Helena that are not operating timeshares. It's that simple. And for all those individual Pacaso owners who have spoken . . . I'm also sad and distressed that your lives are affected by the deceptive and manipulative marketing campaign that's been part of Pacaso from the beginning. . . .”
To read the pleadings of the case filed by Pacaso against the City of St. Helena AND the updates to the ordinance that clearly ban Pacaso from doing business in St. Helena, go to the Sample Documents page of this website.
to join the City and County of Sonoma contact list
“Pacaso is the newest addition in a long line of vulture capitalist companies here to put the final nail in the coffin of Sonoma's
Logan Harvey, Mayor
Email NapaCATS2021@ gmail.com
to join the City of Napa contact list
“It’s about allowing the residents and workers here some space in which to get away from the impacts of tourism. It’s about trying to preserve our schools. It’s about keeping residents in our neighborhoods and tourists in our b&bs.”
Paula French, resident
to join the St. Helena contact list
"Doesn’t everyone, regardless of an area’s wealth, deserve the stability, serenity and security of living in a neighborhood of full-time neighbors, not vacation party houses?"
Susan McWilliams, resident
Email coming soon, in the meantime, contact StopPacasoNow@gmail.com
Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, Alexander Valley and West County are agricultural areas and no place for Pacaso Timeshares!
Email StopPacasoNowNB@outlook.com to join the Newport Beach contact list
NEWPORT BEACH is the latest SoCal community to fight back against Pacaso's Timeshare model in their neighborhoods!
Santa Barbara residents are organizing against the insurgence of Pacaso in their town. Join their fight!
firstname.lastname@example.org to join Palm Springs contact list
Palm Springs has passed a Cease and Desist Order against Pacaso and residents want to see it enforced!
"Legal expenses, to the extent incurred on behalf of the LLC, may be passed through to the owners as a Basic Expense of the LLC"
Found under Owner FAQs 6/21
"The owner group can vote to remove Pacaso as the manager of the home and self-manage the property."
Found under Owner FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Whether the owners decide to self-manage or Pacaso remains the manager, management agreements CAN CHANGE. The Code of Conduct, a selling point to potential Pacaso neighbors, is not guaranteed if management changes or the management agreement is amended.
Since the LLC shareholders are anonymous to one another, their only point of contact is through Pacaso
"Owners are not permitted to rent out or sell time on vacation rental sites or other public rental listing services. "
Found under Buyer FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Remember, this statement is part of Pacaso's Code of Conduct, which is NOT on the deed to the property and CAN be changed at any time.
NOTE: Many jurisdictions restrict – or ban outright – short-term vacation rentals yet Pacaso has ignored them and moved right in.
"Owners may cancel with no penalty up to 60 days prior to their scheduled stay."
" If the property is not re-booked, the dates count toward the cancelling owner's annual stay night calendar for the year. "
Found under Owner FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Hospitalization? Smoke from nearby fires impacting the quality of air? Family emergency? Mandatory Evacuation? Extended Power Outage?
"Prospects are whole home listings that meet Pacaso’s highly selective criteria: epic homes in amazing locations. To purchase the whole home, contact Julian Johnston, The Corcoran Group. If enough buyers are interested in co-owning this home, we’ll buy the home and turn it into a Pacaso."
Found under Buyer FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Most of the pages of listings on Pacaso's website are Prospect Listings; homes that are not owned by Pacaso but are for sale on the MLS