SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica has released a report detailing several Airbnb hosts in the region have been circumventing the municipality’s regulations regarding the app.
The study indicates that only 187 out of an estimated total of 950 Airbnb rentals active in the city of Santa Monica between June 2015 and October 2017 were licensed to operate. The 2015 Home-Sharing Ordinance Rules indicate that all short-term rentals are expected to be registered and licensed to practice within the city. Hosts must maintain a business license, and hosts and renters are responsible for complying with all tax laws. The city of Santa Monica collected more than $4.5 million in taxes from Airbnb and other short-term home rental businesses.
Airbnb previously attempted to resist the ordinance in court, but in March 2017 a Los Angeles County Superior Judge determined that Santa Monica was within rights to impose fines on hosts who violate the city’s ordinances. The city of Santa Monica has collected more than $80,000 in penalties from hosts found to have been violating the laws. In January 2017, the Santa Monica City Council increased the fines for those violating city laws from $75 to $500.