Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

AIRBNB Will Not Replace Tenants, Vows Santa Monica City Attorney After Court Win

Santa Monica's Ban on AIRBNB Upheld by Cal. Court of Appeal

 

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View Down 7th Street: It's pretty much nothing but AIRBNB type vacation rentals, despite having been told that it would alleviate the Westside's massive housing crisis.

Below is a city press release, wherein the City Attorney's office with some swagger announces the City's victory in court against the purveyors of online vacation rentals, such as AIRBNB.

Santa Monica is a pricey touristic beach town. AIRBNB pays 3 or 4 times as much per night as a tenant, even in this inflated rent environment. So that's like $10,500 a month for a one bedroom that rents for say, $3500 a month to some techie.

There is a real chance that AIRBNB and its ilk will replace tenants in Santa Monica on a broad scale. In fact it is widely known that almost all the units built by Shekhter/NMS in the last ten years on 7th and 6th street in downtown SM, are occupied by AIRBNB rentals.

Here's the unedited press release from the City Attorney's office

35 Counts of Illegal Vacation Rental Violations Against Local Vacation Rental Company, Globe Homes LLC, Affirmed on Appeal

Santa Monica's Home-Sharing Ordinance withstands first Appellate challenge

On July 2, 2018, a California Appellate Court affirmed a trial court decision finding 35 counts of illegal vacation rental related violations against a local vacation rental business operator, Globe Homes LLC ("Globe"). The case was investigated by the City's Vacation Rental Enforcement Task Force, a unit of the Code Enforcement Division, trained to target illegal vacation rental businesses operating in Santa Monica.

"The City of Santa Monica has consistently dedicated policies and resources toward producing, protecting and preserving housing in our community," said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen. "We are pleased that these important legislative principles withstood their first appellate review."

Globe was charged with multiple counts of operating illegal vacation rentals within the City of Santa Monica in 2016, after the City's Code Enforcement Division confirmed persistent and repeated violations by Globe, which unlawfully took numerous residential housing units off the rental housing market. After a Hearing Officer largely affirmed the charges against Globe, the case went to trial in December of 2016 in Los Angeles Superior Court. On March 6, 2017, the trial court issued its judgment affirming 35 out of the 36 charged violations. On July 2, 2018, a California Appellate Court completely rejected Globe's appeal, resulting in a complete affirmance of the trial court decision.

"This is a great result and a testament to the exceptional team work between the Code Enforcement Division and the City Attorney's Office," said Code Enforcement Manager Sharon Guidry. "When the Council adopted Santa Monica Municipal Code Chapter 6.20, which reaffirmed the City's longstanding prohibition against vacation rentals in Santa Monica, it clearly reiterated its deep interest in and concerns about protecting Santa Monica's diverse permanent rental housing stock. My team of dedicated Code Enforcement Officers are committed to enforcing this important legislation and ensuring that Santa Monica remains a place that people from all income levels and backgrounds can call home."

Home-Sharing in Santa Monica

Google Earth

This building at 1432 7th Street, like the others around it for blocks, is dominated by AIRBNB type vacation rentals.

After maintaining a multi-decade prohibition against short-term rentals in residential districts, in 2015, the City eased this prohibition by authorizing a form of short-term rentals known as Home-Sharing, wherein a resident is free to host visitors for compensation for a period of less than 31 days, as long as the resident and visitor are both present in the home. Un-hosted short-term rentals of residential housing, known as Vacation Rentals, remain unlawful in Santa Monica. This landmark legislation struck an important balance by enabling current and prospective residents to supplement income through home-sharing to meet increased rents and housing prices, while ensuring that Santa Monica's housing units, and particularly affordable units, would not be surreptitiously or openly converted into de facto hotels.

For more information on the City's Home-Sharing Ordinance or to apply for a Home-Sharing License, visit http://www.smgov.net/homeshare.

To report an illegal vacation rental business, contact Code Enforcement at (310) 458-4984.

 

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