Huntington Beach

Deadline for short-term rentals

A DEC. 31 deadline for unpermitted short-term rentals to secure permits was approved Tuesday by the Huntington Beach City Council (Shutterstock).

By Zia Zografos

Unpermitted short-term 30-day rentals such as Airbnb and Vrbo in Huntington Beach have until Dec. 31 before they are shut down, the city council unanimously decided on Tuesday night.

As of Jan.1, 2022, short-term rental operators must secure a valid permit, including a thorough house inspection. The city council ultimately decided to extend the permit deadline from Oct.1 to Dec. 31 due to a high volume of complaints that the permit process was too short notice, confusing, and time consuming to complete.

In February, an ordinance became effective which allows only for hosted short-term rental operations, that being a single rented room where the owner remains on the property.

This ordinance does not apply to the operators in the Sunset Beach area, who were given roughly six months to request permits for non-hosted short term rentals, according to a staff report. 
“I would rather see us come down harshly on behavior rather than limit everybody,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Barbara Delgleize at the meeting.

Neighborhood irritation regarding short-term rentals has been brought forth by community members for the last several years. The biggest annoyances are loud partying and limited parking.
“We do sometimes receive complaints about short-term rentals. And those complaints can be for a party, a noise incident, it really depends on how the property is managed,” said the Director of Community Development Ursula Luna-Reynosa. Irresponsible property owners are warranted to receive fines, she added.

“I began hosting four years ago after my father died. Airbnb and short-term rental hosting has been the only way for me to pay my bills. I’d like to keep this home and my family…it’s also been a plus for my neighbors because I’ve tremendously improved the look of the property,” said Phil Larschan in a public comment.

However, shortly after the adoption of the ordinance, concerns from short-term rental operators started to be raised.

A major cause for concern was the ordinance’s restrictions on un-hosted short-term rentals and their desire to expand the un-hosted short-term rentals beyond Sunset Beach.

“My goal is to come up with an ordinance that makes sense, that is enforceable, and fair….after hearing the feedback from the folks in particular areas, they really couldn’t see why would somebody in Sunset Beach can have that opportunity when I’ve been doing this for a decade and I don’t have that same opportunity,” said Mayor Kim Carr at the meeting.

Adding un-hosted short-term rentals beyond Sunset Beach may be an additional element that will be brought forth in an amended ordinance, as data comes in from the permit process happening now until the end of the year.

Within these next few months, staff will conduct outreach to the short-term rental operators alerting them to complete their permit process.



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