Long Beach City Hall.JPG

Long Beach officials announced Thursday, Oct. 29, that registration to operate short-term rentals in the city has begun.

City Council passed an ordinance in June to regulate these rentals, sometimes part of the Airbnb system. That ordinance limits the number of registered short-term rentals (STRs) in the city and adds a number of regulations.

First, accessory dwelling units are not allowed to be used as an STR. Accessory dwelling units are defined as separate apartments on the property — they can be rented long-term, but not as a vacation rental.

At least for now, a host has to be available for an STR. That host has to be ready to respond to complaints from activity at the STR, among other requirements.

A limit of 1,000 STR permits was once part of the proposed ordinance. That was dropped in favor of requiring hosts at the STR, and prohibiting use of the accessory dwelling units. However, the council said they would consider allowing unhosted STRs at a future time.

Also, proposed STRs in the city's coastal zone cannot receive permits until the state Coastal Commission rules on the city's regulations in that zone. No date has been set for that ruling.

The city's ordinance limits the number of people staying at an STR to two persons per bedroom, plus two; with the maximum occupancy no more than 10 people, including the host or hosts. STR operators also must collect Transient Occupancy Tax — the same per night tax paid by hotels.

It also is possible for rental building owners and Home Owners Associations to prohibit residents from obtaining an STR permit. Landlords and HOAs have to complete and notarize a form and file it with the city to be added to the list of properties prohibiting STRs. That form — and the form requesting a permit — is available at www.longbeach.gov/lbds/hn/st-rental/, the city's STR web page. 

“We believe that the hosted short-term rental program is fair and well thought out for property owners and residents alike,” Oscar Orci, Development Services Department director, said in the release. “It will provide additional lodging/housing opportunities while providing safeguards to preserve the character of our diverse residential neighborhoods across the city.”

For more information, go to longbeach.gov/strs.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

Load comments