What if I want to organize a lease myself?

You’re awesome! If you have a lot of friends who want to start a ski lease, or you’re a social person who enjoys organizing things, you should think about organizing your own ski lease.

Organizing a ski lease can be hard work, but it’s very rewarding. You get to rent a dream house in Tahoe you otherwise likely couldn’t afford, and most ski lease organizers give themselves a significant discount on the lease or don’t pay anything at all. (Be upfront and honest about your plans for that, though).

Here’s what you need to do to get started (in this order):

  1. Find some friends who want to get in on a ski lease with you. Get an email chain started, and find out how much people are willing to pay, where they want to be located and what amenities are important to them (e.g. what’s a dealbreaker on a particular house?).
  2. Start looking at rentals. Snowpals is the only place on the Internet with an open directory of Tahoe vacation homes that are available to rent for the entire ski season. You can also try looking for Tahoe rentals on VRBO.com and search for anyone who mentions “monthly” in their description. This might include going on a Tahoe trip to look at houses! Talk with your initial group about the house and get their support on choosing your selection.
  3. Once you find the house you want, talk with the landlord and be clear that you’ll be renting it for a ski lease. Most Tahoe landlords are familiar with ski leases, but you can explain that it doesn’t mean the house will be overflowing each weekend. Push the benefits of a ski lease to them — especially that they’ll be able do minimal management work to rent their house for the entire ski season and they’ll avoid paying short-term rental taxes.
  4. Last step: You might find that you need a few more members to fill out your house. That’s not a problem! There are usually many more people that want to join a ski lease in the Bay Area than there are ski leases available. Post your lease on Snowpals and you’ll likely get a lot of emails from interested people.

Most important: Have fun!