Santa Monica’s City Council on Tuesday passed some of the region’s toughest regulations on the booming short-term rental industry.
In a quick and unanimous vote, the Council approved rules that will ban most short-term rentals in the city by prohibiting the rental of an entire unit for less than 30 days. The rules legalize “home-sharing” – in which the occupant rents a couch, spare bedroom or backyard unit – but require hosts to obtain a business license and pay Santa Monica’s 14% hotel tax.
The vote, which happened in moments and with no debate, came despite a protest held outside Santa Monica City Hall on Tuesday afternoon by more than 100 short-term rental hosts and supporters. The protest was organized by industry giant Airbnb, and several people there said they worried that other Southern California cities might adopt similar rules on short-term rentals.
“It’s such a blessing for us to have this money,” said Arlene Rosenblatt, a retired teacher who lives in Santa Monica and frequently lists her apartment on Airbnb when she travels. “We need to have these regulations changed.”
Supporters of the law – organized by housing advocates and a union representing hotel workers – held a similar rally two weeks ago when the bill was first debated.
And, just like that, they're approved: 7-0. No discussion even. So much for those protests.— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 13, 2015
That makes Santa Monica the most aggressive city in the Southland in its regulation of short term rentals. Basically bans full-unit rentals.— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 13, 2015
Santa Monica has always been a community that believes poor people deserve to live at the beach just like anyone else," Mayor McKeown.— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 13, 2015
Re: Airbnb/Short-term rental regs in SaMo. Yep. The big to-do was two wks ago. But hosts made some noise. We'll see. https://t.co/A8gQjhaP8o— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 13, 2015
Airbnb host and user Emmett O'Reilly said he fears Santa Monica's short-term rental restrictions could spread. pic.twitter.com/TFXOhttkMc— Allen Schaben (@alschaben) May 13, 2015
"One of our tremendous fears," that tough rental regs like SaMo's will spread to more cities, says @LASTRAlliance spokesman.— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 13, 2015
"We need to have these regulations changed," says 80-yr-old retired teacher who AirBnbs her place in SaMo 2 weeks/month while out of town.— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 12, 2015
At least 100 ppl here outside SaMo City Hall for short-term rental rally. "Hosting has changed our lives for the better," says one speaker.— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 12, 2015
Getting ready for pro home-sharing/short term rental outside Santa Monica City Hall... pic.twitter.com/6ZnKboGehQ— Tim Logan (@bytimlogan) May 12, 2015