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Santa Monica Council Could Further Restrict Short-Term Rentals


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Santa Monica Travel and Tourism

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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 9, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica already has arguably the strongest restrictions on the short-term rental business popularized by companies such as Airbnb. And those restrictions could go further with a proposal that the City Council will consider on Tuesday.

Under the proposal, a property’s secondary unit that was permitted after March 31 of this year could not be used for “exclusive transient uses” (defined as 30 days or less).

Secondary units permitted before that date could still be used for short-term rentals.

The current law allows a property owner to use a secondary unit for short-term rentals if the property owner remains in the main house.

A City staff report says 19 percent of the 195 home-sharing business licenses in Santa Monica are for the use of secondary units.

The council made national headlines two years ago when it passed a restrictive law against short-term rentals, which was strengthened even further earlier this year.

Santa Monica requires hosts to live at the site they are renting, pay the City's hotel tax and register by applying for City approval ("Santa Monica City Council Bans Short-Term Rentals Despite Protests," May 14, 2015).

The council did this after residents complained that some Santa Monica buildings were turning into de facto hotels--leading to noise and pollution as well as taking much-needed housing stock out of the residential market.

Airbnb has sued the City.

Also, a class-action lawsuit headed by a retired school teacher was also filed against the City (“Lawsuit Claims Santa Monica’s Short-Term Rental Ban Unconstitutional,” July 12, 2016).

A federal judge dismissed that suit last month (“Federal Judge Dismisses Suit Against Santa Monica Short-Term Rental Ban,” May 30, 2017).


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