San Diego approves strict cap on certain short-term rentals

Ordinance limits Airbnb-type rentals available for 20 days or more to 1% of housing stock

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria (Getty)
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria (Getty)

San Diego approved strict limits on certain short-term rentals, seeking to rein in the industry and protect housing.

The City Council this week reaffirmed the ordinance in a required second vote. The measure limits the number of whole-home rentals available for more than 20 days a year to 1 percent of the city’s housing stock, the Los Angeles Times reported. With 540,000 housing units in the city, that allows just 5,400 rentals. The cap will take effect in July 2022.

An exception was made for the Mission Beach area, considered a vacation destination. Its cap was set at 30 percent of the area’s housing stock, allowing 1,100 rentals there.

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he ordinance does not limit the number of whole-home rentals made available for less than 20 days a year, nor does it limit homeowners that rent one or two rooms in their homes while they are present.

City officials have yet to settle on a system for short-term rental licenses. The Council plans to consider a lottery system in October, which would prioritize “good actor” short-term rental hosts, according to the Times.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles enacted its own short-term rental ordinance in 2018 after years of debate. The measure restricts rentals, but is not as strict as the one in San Diego. L.A.’s version took effect in late 2019 and by March 2020, short-term rental listings on platforms like Airbnb had plunged.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch