Ruling Could Be Game Changer For Short-Term Rental Regulations
The ruling confirms the city’s right to regulate home sharing in order to protect its limited housing stock for residents.
original article: https://patch.com/california/venice/ruling-could-be-game-changer-short-term-rental-regulations?utm_term=article-slot-1&utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter
SANTA MONICA, CA — A federal appeals court Monday reaffirmed the city of Santa Monica’s home-sharing ordinance in the face of a challenge brought by Airbnb and HomeAway.com.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling confirms the city’s right to regulate home sharing in order to protect its limited housing stock for residents, according to city officials.
Los Angeles has spent years mulling over restrictions on short-term rentals with residents in Venice, the Hollywood Hills and Silver Lake demanding relief from an influx of short-term rentals in the neighborhood.
The city looked at limiting homeowners and landlords who wish to rent out rooms or full homes to 120 days per year unless they petition the city for more time. L.A. officials also considered changing the definition of a primary residence from a home where the host lives at least six months to at least 11 months to prevent properties from being purchased just to be rented out for short-term guests.
Ultimately, the city approved industry-friendly regulations in 2018 allowing qualified hosts to rent year-round provided their property isn’t the subject of too many complaints.
A Los Angeles Department of City Planning found that 456,000 nights were booked on Airbnb alone in 2016 citywide. In 2017, an estimated 550,000 nights were booked by all home-sharing companies in the city.
City officials and neighborhood groups all over the region have been watching the case closely as they grapple with ways to cope with the explosion of the short-term rental industry in Southern California.
An appellate panel rejected the challenge in March and subsequently declined a petition requesting that either the three-judge panel or a full panel rehear the case.
“We are thrilled to have confirmation from the 9th Circuit that our balanced approach to home sharing is permitted at a time when housing and affordability continue to challenge the region,” said Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis. “This is a big win for Santa Monica residents and our residential neighborhoods.”
The unanimous decision affirms the district court’s dismissal of Airbnb and HomeAway’s claims that the city’s Home-Sharing Ordinance violated the Communications Decency Act and the First Amendment, City Attorney Lane Dilg said.
“The court’s decision will help state and local governments across the country as they work to preserve affordability and protect housing for those who live and work in their regions,” Dilg said.