MALIBU—The short-term rental site Airbnb has faced increasing pressure from city officials across the United States to regulate its service and operate more-and-more like a hotel company.
The newest development in that movement is a recent agreement made by Airbnb to charge Malibu’s 12 percent hotel tax, a change that will become official on April 20, 2015.
Malibu is one of several cities that has yielded such agreements from the company, as Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco, among others, have forced Airbnb’s hand in paying back taxes and agreeing to stricter rental regulation.
Other neighborhoods within Los Angeles have struggled to regulate the short-term rental phenomenon, a market that some housing activists argue has reduced the supply of affordable housing in the city.
West Hollywood stands as one example of a neighborhood that has moved towards an outright ban of short-term rentals. Other neighborhoods have tried and failed to implements such bans.
Short-term rentals are not allowed in most Los Angeles residential areas. On the Airbnb website, there are hundreds of short-term listings available in West Hollywood and Malibu alone.
Last year’s subpoena sent out by the Malibu City Council to Airbnb prompted the company’s agreement to pay the hotel tax. In 2015, the city also anticipates to collect an estimated $450,000 in transient occupancy taxes from Malibu residents who have listed properties as short-term rentals.
Malibu City Council has stated that the money collected from both Airbnb and Malibu residents will fund the maintenance of roads and water treatment as well as local fire and police departments.