Airbnb dealt another blow in Santa Monica

A judge’s ruling supports the city’s strict home-sharing ordinance

Mar.March 16, 2018 09:04 AM
Santa Monica skyline (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Santa Monica has gotten tough on Airbnb and HomeAway, and now it’s getting support in the courts.

A U.S. District Court judge handed the city a preliminary win in its two-year battle to severely restrict the home-sharing companies’ ability to operate.

Judge Otis Wright denied an injunction that sought to suspend the city’s ordinance regarding home-sharing rental platforms while the parties duke it out in court, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.

Along with imposing taxes on short-term rentals, the ordinance requires that hosts be present while renting their spaces to guests.

The two platforms, which sued the city over the ordinance in 2016, have two weeks to appeal Wright’s decision. The district court is scheduled to hear the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on March 26.

Airbnb and HomeAway’s request for an injunction was based on their argument that Santa Monica’s ordinance violated the company’s First Amendment rights, among others, according to the Daily Press.

The ruling comes a few weeks after the city published a report claiming only 187 of the 950 estimated short-term rentals in Santa Monica complied with the law over a two-year period. The city estimated that Airbnb made $31 million in Santa Monica over that period.

Airbnb hasn’t fared well in other L.A. County cities lately. Last week, West Hollywood banned renters from subletting their apartments on the site.

The L.A. City Council could soon debate a law that would greatly limit the number of days a host could rent their properties on the service as well.

Hosts reportedly skirted the ordinance by falsely claiming their rentals were across the border in the city of Los Angeles and even by taking down listings during business hours at Santa Monica City Hall to dodge city regulators. [SMDP] — Dennis Lynch

Related Articles

Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky in front of Los Angeles city hall (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

A Christmas miracle? LA may loosen key Airbnb restriction

Adam Shekhter and the 1415 5th Street project

WS Communities boosts affordable housing plans in Santa Monica

Council Member Mitch O’Farrell’s motion will not be automatically furled into Airbnb ordinance. (Credit: Getty Images, iStock, and Airbnb)

LA throws Airbnb hosts lifeline at rent-stabilized homes, but there’s a catch

The city of Los Angeles is considering allowed rent-stabilized units to be used for home shares. (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Last-minute policy tweak could hand Airbnb a key victory in LA

The 5 priciest residential sales

Here are the 5 priciest resi sales in LA County last week

LA’s Airbnb hosts seek carveout for looming ban on renting out secondary homes

LA’s Airbnb hosts seek carveout for looming ban on renting out secondary homes

Clockwise from top left: 1155 Angelo Drive, 1116 Laurel Way, 613 N. Sierra Drive, 32453 Pacific Coast Highway and 705 N. Arden Drive (Credit: Redfin)

Beverly Hills dominates list of top resi sales in LA County last week

HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky say they need a delay (Credit: Getty Images)

Airbnb to LA: Please don’t start enforcing new law on Nov. 1