Led by Airbnb, Santa Monica banned vacation rentals for less than 30 days, but legalized “home-sharing” — in which the occupant rents a couch, spare bedroom or backyard unit.
The Santa Monica City Council has passed some of the region’s toughest regulations on the booming short-term rental industry.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, 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 Los Angeles Times reported. 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 percent hotel tax.
The vote was taken over moments and with no debate despite a protest held outside Santa Monica City Hall Tuesday afternoon by more than 100 short- term rental hosts and supporters. Several people there said they worried that other Southern California cities might adopt similar rules on short-term rentals.
Airbnb is promoting rules like this to limit their competition. Why should Airbnb be allowed to rent part of a house for less than 30 days, but other companies not be allowed to rent an entire home for less than 30 days There is no guarantee that owners renting through Airbnb will actually be at home during the rental. Other communities that have allowed short-term rentals have done well.