Long Beach city council to consider tighter regulations on short-term rentals

USA: Officials in the city of Long Beach want tighter regulations for short-term rentals which would cap the number of nights a guest can stay in a residence without its host.

The city currently operates under a policy whereby short-term rentals are unofficially banned, however Long Beach’s development services department would like that to change when they convene for the city council meeting on 4 December.

The officials have recommended that the nine-member panel approve an ordinance which would require hosts to be Long Beach residents, cap the number of nights a guest can stay without a host in the host’s primary residence, limit the number of renters per residence and impose quiet hours.

Public discussions and community meetings on short-term rentals have already been taking place for several months.

Last month, Long Beach staff unveiled three potential options for regulations at its last meeting. Most of the attendees were Airbnb hosts, and the majority of speakers said they preferred to have no regulations imposed on them.

However, in a city report, most people commented that they wanted some form of regulation on short-term rentals and preferred the least restrictive of the three options. The development services officials eventually voted for a regulatory middle-ground but the recommended option would impose more restrictions on rentals than anyone at the final public meeting had wanted.

Development services director, Linda Tatum, wrote in her note to the council that the city officials, recommended the compromise option as it takes into account a wider range of residents’ input.

Tatum later revealed people who were not in attendance called her following the meeting and posted feedback online “voicing strong opposition to allowing (short-term rentals) and expressing concern that they are not being heard”.

She responded by saying her team had made the call on their suggestion “because it addresses the primary concerns and quality of life issues consistently voiced by the community throughout the duration of this study.”

Airbnb company spokeswoman Mattie Zazueta said: “We appreciate the city’s careful deliberation on the issue and will continue to advocate for short-term rental rules that are streamlined, affordable and preserve the economic benefits of home-sharing for residents.”