Federal appeals court sides with Santa Monica over Airbnb, in blow to home-sharing

Following the decision, Airbnb and HomeAway are left with few options to fight the city's restrictive ordinance

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 14, 2019 01:15 PM
Brian Chesky and the 9th District Court of Appeals (Credit: Getty Images and Wikimedia)

A federal appeals court dealt Airbnb and HomeAway a major blow in their extended battle with Santa Monica over the city’s restrictive home-sharing rules.

The decision by the 9th Circuit Court allows Santa Monica to continue to hold home-sharing platforms liable for listings that violate its ordinance, according to the Los Angeles Times. The ordinance has caused a sharp drop in Airbnb listings in the popular seaside city. Santa Monica’s ordinance requires hosts to hold a city-issued license, and bars them from renting out their homes when they are not present. Hosts who violate the ordinance are subject to $500 fines per violation.

Airbnb did not say what its plans are moving forward, but it could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.

The decision comes a few months after Los Angeles officials finally approved long-proposed home-sharing rules. The new rules could tamper activity in the city, which makes up the bulk of Airbnb’s biggest California market.

Airbnb and Expedia home-sharing sued Santa Monica in 2016 over its ordinance, claiming it violated the U.S. Communications Decency Act of 1996, and the parties have been in court since.

That federal law protects online platforms from being held liable for the activities of their users. It is a key statute Airbnb has used against cities and companies that want to hold it responsible for illegal listings. The appeals court ruled that Santa Monica’s ordinance does not violate that statute.

Airbnb has defended itself with the statute in court against New York-based, apartment landlord Aimco, and others, with mixed success. Airbnb settled its dispute with Aimco in December.

In January, Airbnb cited federal law in a suit against Miami Beach in Florida. [LAT]Dennis Lynch 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Black Equities Group's Stanley Black and Equity Residential's Mark J. Parrell. (Apartments.com, Getty, Equity Residential)
How Suite it is: Sam Zell’s Equity Residential sells SaMo rental complex
How Suite it is: Sam Zell’s Equity Residential sells SaMo rental complex
Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas and Colorado Center. (Bostom Properties, WikiMedia / Collision Conf)
Roku inks long-term lease at Colorado Center
Roku inks long-term lease at Colorado Center
(Redwood Urban)
Hollywood tenants’ lawsuit blitz takes turn for the surreal
Hollywood tenants’ lawsuit blitz takes turn for the surreal
Tesla's new property is 82,000 square feet. (Getty, Daum Commercial)
Tesla inks big lease on office/warehouse in Santa Monica
Tesla inks big lease on office/warehouse in Santa Monica
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria (Getty)
San Diego approves strict cap on certain short-term rentals
San Diego approves strict cap on certain short-term rentals
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. (Getty, Activision)
Activision Blizzard vacates Santa Monica HQ, seeks new space
Activision Blizzard vacates Santa Monica HQ, seeks new space
Melissa Rivers and her Santa Monica home (Getty, Zillow)
No joke: Melissa Rivers sells Santa Monica manse for $16M
No joke: Melissa Rivers sells Santa Monica manse for $16M
Related California CEO William Witte and a rendering of the project (Getty, City of Santa Monica)
Renderings reveal Related’s 296-unit Santa Monica project
Renderings reveal Related’s 296-unit Santa Monica project
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...