by Jodi Summers
Do you want to know what rental prices at the beach have gotten so high? Short-term rentals have pushed up the demand and thus the price. The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a labor-backed advocacy group, estimates that more than 7,000 houses and apartments have been taken off the rental market in metro Los Angeles for use as short-term rentals. A short term rental is typically defined as a rental of less than 30 consecutive days.
In parts of Venice and Hollywood, Airbnb listings accounted for 4% or more of all housing units.
“Short-term rentals are really taking over a significant portion of the rental housing market in our community,” notes Steve Clare, executive director of Venice Community Housing. “It’s going to further escalate rents, and take affordable housing out of Venice.”
“In places where vacancy is already limited and rents are already squeezing people out, this is exacerbating the problem,” said Roy Samaan, a policy analyst who wrote the Alliance’s report. “There aren’t 1,000 units to give in Venice or Hollywood.”
The L.A. Times notes that short-term rentals are worsening a housing shortage that already makes Los Angeles one of the least affordable places to rent in the country.
‘Multifamily property owners are being impacted by Airbnb, VRBO and other similar entities in various ways,” observes Morgan Stewart, partner in the legal firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. “As the number of people choosing to rent out their living space for short-term stays has continued to grow at an explosive rate, many cities and counties have moved aggressively to regulate, restrain and tax short-term rental housing. Ordinances have been created to address concerns that many communities have about how these short-term rentals affect the protection of the neighborhood environment, the safety of renters, the collection of transit occupancy tax revenue and the playing field for traditional hotels. Some communities have adopted outright bans, while others have put geographical restraints into place. New operational and occupational requirements, as well as licensing and tax ordinances, have also been implemented in some jurisdictions.”
Throughout California, many cities have moved to ban or severely restrict short-term term rentals. This is especially true of upscale resort communities like Indian Wells, Laguna Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Cruz, Sausalito, Tiburon, West Hollywood, Napa County and Marin County. Other cities like Malibu have chosen a more moderate path. Following a contentious process in which city officials threatened to subpoena Airbnb financial records, “the Bu” permitted short-term rentals subject to the owners paying the city’s 12% transit occupancy tax. Airbnb has begun working with cities throughout the country to collect the tax.
Santa Monica is one of the cities with new rules. Here is the overview of the Santa Monica Home-Sharing Ordinance:
On May 12th, 2015 the Santa Monica City Council adopted the “Home-Sharing Ordinance,” adding chapter 6.20 to the Santa Monica Municipal Code clarifying prohibitions against short-term Vacation Rentals and imposing regulations on Home-Sharing. This law becomes effective by June 12th, 2015. It allows eligible Residents (owners and tenants) to apply for a business license through the City’s Business License program.
This Home-Sharing Ordinance provides for regulations of two types of Short-Term Rentals:
“Home-Sharing” – The new law authorizes Home-Sharing, which is an activity whereby a resident hosts visitors in their home, for periods of 30 consecutive days or less, while at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the visitor’s stay. The guest enjoys the non-exclusive shared use of the unit with at least one of the persons who is domiciled at the location.
“Vacation Rental” – The new law continues the City’s longstanding prohibition against Vacation Rentals. A Vacation Rental is a rental of any dwelling unit, in whole or in part, to any persons for exclusive transient use of 30 consecutive days or less, whereby the unit is only approved for permanent residential occupancy and not approved for transient occupancy. The guest enjoys the exclusive private use of the unit.