As our previous article has suggested, Airbnb has become a popular way for landlords to beat the tough rent control ordinances. However, many cities are cracking down on short term rentals. In Los Angeles, cities such as Santa Monica and West Hollywood have become very strict.
In fact, Santa Monica has effectively wiped out 80% of its Airbnb listings by instituting the toughest regulations on short-term rentals in the U.S. Effective since June 15, 2015, these regulations require anyone putting a listing on Airbnb in Santa Monica to live on the property during the renter’s stay, register for a business license and collect a 14% occupancy tax from users that will be payable to the city.
If you’re looking to use Airbnb to maximize profits, it is important to understand the laws and restrictions pertaining to your city. Below are a few things you should consider:
1. Business Licenses: Since Airbnb is considered a business, many cities and counties require owners or operators to apply for and obtain a license to operate. To fully understand the regulations, visit the local government websites for more information.
2. Building and Housing Standards: Oftentimes, there rules and regulations specifying minimum construction, design, and maintenance standards for buildings, including regulations on habitability, health, and safety. This may lead to certain inspection requirements to adhere to specific city codes.
3. Zoning Rules: There are different zoning code, planning code, or city ordinances that may affect your property and whether or not you can use it as a rental.
4. Special Permit: Some cities or counties may require a special permit to rent out your home.
5. Taxes: Since Airbnb is run as a business, many cities require hosts to collect a tax for each overnight stay, and pay that tax to the city or county.
Currently, regulations affecting Airbnb short term rental is still unclear. Los Angeles County has been working on a resolution for the last two years to address the housing shortage and the increasing number of complaints from neighbors. Los Angeles County is expected to reach a resolution by the end of 2018. For more information, please visit the Los Angeles County website. Also, if you’re interested in buying or selling an apartment building, please contact us at 818-915-9118 or send us an email.