Long Beach could soon change rules requiring property owners who want to rent out rooms on sites like Airbnb to be present throughout the guest’s stay.
The City Council is set to consider at its Tuesday, Nov. 17, meeting whether to move forward with a potential change to city law to allow unhosted short-term rentals.
The vote will come six months after the panel approved an ordinance that allowed for short-term rentals if the hosts are present.
Regulations of short-term rentals in Long Beach have been discussed for years; until recently, the city’s policy was essentially an unenforced ban on them.
Some property owners have cited the financial benefits of being able to rent out a room and contribute to tourism in Long Beach. But other residents who live near houses that are used as short-term rentals have complained to the city about noise and traffic associated with those properties.
Requiring a host to be present was one way to address some of those concerns. But the proposed regulations of unhosted stays the City Council will consider on Tuesday also seek to address potential problems.
Some of the suggested rules are:
Only allowing property owners to register two sites as short-term rentals, or three sites if one of them is the owner’s primary residence;
Limiting the number of short-term rentals citywide that are not an owner’s primary residence to 1,000 units, which could be adjusted annually based on housing vacancy rates; and
Allowing Long Beach property owners to petition to ban short-term rentals in their census block. If a property owner requests a petition, Long Beach would conduct a vote of the census block via mail; a simple majority of property owners would have to approve of the ban for it to pass.
The proposal will go before the City Council while the policy to allow hosted stays is still fresh. Owners could only begin registering their properties as short-term rentals late last month.
The city has received 21 short-term rental applications since then, 14 of which have been approved, according to a staff report. The other seven are pending.
“We believe that the hosted short-term rental program is fair and well thought out for property owners and residents alike,” Development Services Department Director Oscar Orci said in a statement last month. “It will provide additional lodging/housing opportunities while providing safeguards to preserve the character of our diverse residential neighborhoods across the city.”