The City of Glendale has recently enacted a noise ordinance that targets properties that require police responses due to loud music and other nuisances. Glendale’s ordinance creates a series of fines after the police respond to loud music or nuisance complaints. The Glendale News Press reports that the City of Glendale has already began to enforce this ordinance on a house that was rented through Airbnb.com. While being rented through Airbnb.com, renters who rented the property for a day or two threw large parties which caused neighbors to complain. The article, “Party Central” House Issued Police Warning provides more details on the background story regarding the rental.
Airbnb.com has caused a number of legal issues that must be addressed by local governments. Property owners may not be even be aware that they may not rent their property on a short term basis or that it creates additional landlord-tenant rights.
Many jurisdictions have prohibitions against short term rentals. California courts have upheld city ordinances that prohibit short term rentals in residential neighborhoods. In Ewing v. City of Carmel by the Sea, the California Court of Appeals found that the City of Carmel could prohibit rentals for less than 30 days in residential neighborhoods, basically prohibiting a home from being used as a bed and breakfast. A property owner should check with their local zoning code before renting their properties on a short term basis. Also, if a property is located in a homeowners’ association, there may be additional CC&Rs that would apply. Many homeowners’ associations prohibit short term rentals or even any rentals.
Further, if a property owner rents through Airbnb.com enough, the property owner may need to obtain a business license and/or pay a business tax. Each jurisdiction has its own ordinance on when a business permit is required.
Some particular issues may also arise in cities with rent control, such as Los Angeles. Although single family homes are not subject to the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, if you rent your home by the bedroom, rent control could apply if residents live there for more than thirty days. This could have an unintended consequence that a landlord of a short term rental could not actually evict a tenant without cause.
Also, you should check your insurance policy to see what may or may not be covered when renting on a short term basis. Your insurance carrier may find that your home is not owner occupied or that you were running a business out of your home, in which case, your insurance policy would need to be modified.
In sum, there are many issues that may arise from using Airbnb.com. Before a property owners uses Airbnb.com, they should be aware of potential liability and whether or not it is a permitted use of their home. Call Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at (818) 839-5220 to learn more about your legal options.