Santa Monica council votes 7-0 to crack down on Airbnb

<p>The Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to ban most of the vacation rentals listed on Airbnb and similar websites and set strict regulations on the ones that remain.</p>


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.


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