City to regulate short-term vacation rentals

Posted: July 27th, 2018 | News, Opinion & News | No Comments

By SDCNN Staff

The San Diego City Council announced new regulations on short-term residential occupancy (STRO) properties and those that manage them. The initial proposal was put forth by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and sought to compromise between industry needs and the requests of the city’s residents.

“[I want] to help the City Council find enough common ground so they could pass comprehensive short-term rental laws,” Faulconer said. “The most important thing is that we have an established set of rules that protects neighborhood quality of life through increased oversight and enforcement.”

In its final decision, the council voted to ratify broad, enforceable regulations including: rules requiring would-be renters to obtain and annually renew a STRO license; applying the county’s Transient Occupancy Tax to short-term rental properties; making rental hosts responsible for a fixed nightly fee which will go towards the city’s Affordable Housing Fund; and seeing that rental properties comply with “good neighbor” policies such as posting owner contact information. Platforms for short-term renters will now be required to ensure only licensed and registered hosts are allowed use of the service.

A new online database and public comment portal will allow the city to register and monitor STRO properties. Residents will be able to report violations directly to a 24-hour hotline or online; these violations carry the potential to revoke STRO permits.

“This is a starting point that will allow the city to finally form the regulatory measures necessary to address constituent concerns, provide enforcement for recurrent bad actors, and provide a structure that leaves the window open to revisit in the future once investor loopholes are addressed,” City Councilmember Chris Ward said in response to the decision.

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