SANTA MONICA—To enforce regulations on Airbnb and other short-term rentals, Santa Monica city officials will spend $410,000 and hire full-time staffers.
The new regulations were passed unanimously on May 12. The ordinance requires that property owners and renting residents obtain a business license, collect a 14 percent hotel tax, and—that they stay in the residence with their guests for the duration of the rental if its less than 30 days. Violators could face fines up to $500.
These measures will ban an estimated 1,400 listings, or 80 percent of the typical listings on short-term rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
In order to enforce these regulations, the city will use part of its projected $410,000 yearly budget to hire three new full-time staffers. Their job will entail identifying unlawful rentals by reviewing the online sites and photos. These new staff members will take to the streets in order to match addresses of illegal renters to the online photos.
This will help the city to be proactive about penalizing violators, rather than reacting to complaints made.
The law is expected to go into effect on June 15, but in order to ease the transition, the city will not begin the full-scale enforcement for a few months. Over the summer, the city will provide information on the state of short-term rentals for residents.
Assistant planning director Salvador Valles told KPCC, “We will be looking to reach out to the community, reach out to those individuals who are currently listing to try and educate them about the law and try to work with them to get self-compliant.”