SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council has decided to enact new regulations to ban rental sites that offer short-term vacation rentals in the city such as Airbnb.
The ban affects rentals where the owners of the property are not present while their space is being rented out. Property owners are allowed to share their homes and rent out rooms or additional space in their home, if they will be present for the entire duration.
Property owners or hosts will be required to have a business license moving forward and pay a 14 percent hotel tax if they wish to operate as short-term rentals.
The proposal for the ban began with concerns from neighbors, housing advocates and hotel worker unions. Apartments are being cleared and only used as short-term rental space, which has caused an increase of renting prices. Many prospective locals are unable to find affordable housing because of this.
There are about 1,700 listings on rental sites. Of those 1,700, 1,400 would be banned when the regulations go into effect. The city would not enforce the proposal however. They would rely on the sites to be aware of the regulations and adjust as changes occur.
In addition to Santa Monica, West Hollywood is considering a ban on short-term rentals also. Los Angeles city officials are looking at the Santa Monica proposal as it plays out, in hopes of perhaps adopting a policy of their own.