San Diego Approves Tough Short-Term Rental Rules

The San Diego City Council approved some of the strictest rules on vacation rentals of any major city last week. While billed as a compromise, some members of the city council and the vacation rental industry say it is a mistake that will cost the city millions of dollars.

The council voted 6-3 to approve Mayor Kevin Faulconer's proposal with two important amendments made by Councilmembers Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf. Under the plan, residents may be issued a license to operate a short-term rental for their primary residence and one additional license for a dwelling unit on the same parcel as the host's primary residence.

This would end the practice of out-of-town property owners using the short-term rental industry to profit from homes in San Diego…

The new regulations would also create a new team of police and code enforcement officers to work evenings and weekends to address code complaints. The city will also create a database to track license and registration and launch a new complaint hotline or mobile app for residents to report violations to the city's rules.

In addition, operators must secure a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) certificate and a Neighborhood Use Permit for dwellings with four or more bedrooms, plus comply with a Good Neighbor policy. Short-term rental operators must pay local tourism taxes and charge customers $2.76 which will then go toward the city for affordable housing.

Council Members Chris Cate, Scott Sherman, and David Alvarez opposed the compromise. Echoing reactions from the short-term rental industry, Cate called the new rules “unenforceable” and legally dubious and said they would force rental activity underground.

Read more at Times of San Diego