Communications Planning Commission October 21, /29/2015. From: Cyn Wang. Re: Airbnb, Short-term Rental Best Practices

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1 Communications Planning Commission October 21, /29/2015 From: Cyn Wang Re: Airbnb, Short-term Rental Best Practices Overview Throughout California, Airbnb has been changing the way people travel by empowering guests to experience tourism more authentically and from a local s perspective. Airbnb hosts stay longer and spend more in diverse neighborhoods when they travel. As a result, we have seen positive economic impacts in cities that have not benefited from tourism in the past and have enabled our hosts to use their home as an asset to pay bills and make ends meet. Recently, many cities across the United States have looked into ways of changing the outdated laws that were created before home sharing existed and make way for the new economy. Below is a list of cities that have taken the lead in adopting clear and effective rules to allow home sharing in their communities. San Jose Last December (2014), the City of San Jose adopted comprehensive home sharing/short term rental regulations. The new rules allow primary residents of any housing type to engage in short term rentals for up to 180 days if they are not physically present during the rental (unhosted), or without limitation if they share a portion of their residence while they are physically present (hosted). The Council amended the zoning code to authorize incidental transient occupancy as an allowed use in one family, two family or multiple family dwellings, mobile homes, live/work units, secondary dwellings and guest houses. The Council imposed a set of performance criteria to provide clear rules to residents and regulators, and plans to monitor and report back on implementation within 18 months of adoption. Highlights of these performance standards include: Occupancy limitations for dwellings based on size Numerical caps on annual number of nights (180 days per calendar year no host present. 365 days per calendar year with host present) Parking requirements by dwelling type TOT collection/remittance requirements Recordkeeping requirements for hosts/operators The Council focused on developing rules which were simple for residents to follow, that provide recourse for residents and community members in case of nuisances, and that did not require the City to establish a new enforcement bureaucracy due to minimal evidence of actual community concerns or complaints.

2 Philadelphia Earlier this year, Philadelphia passed new short term rental laws that legalized home sharing in the city. Philadelphia's ordinance allows anyone to rent for up to 90 days without any requirement for a permit, license, or registration. Primary residents who own their home, as well as renters who get permission from their landlord, can host for more than 90 days by applying for a permit. All rentals are limited to 180 days per year, and payment of transient occupancy tax is required. Malibu Malibu s policy is to allow owners to rent their homes without limitation for short term rentals. Because Airbnb collects and remits transient occupancy tax on behalf of its hosts in Malibu, its hosts are neither required to register nor separately remit these taxes. The city relies on the existing code enforcement ordinance to abate public nuisances regardless of rental status. Non Airbnb related short term rental operators must register and collect and remit taxes to the city. South Lake Tahoe South Lake Tahoe authorizes both primary resident home sharing and dedicated vacation rentals. It imposes no caps on maximum numbers for short term rentals, including vacation rentals, and operators are required to purchase an annual permit and pay transient occupancy tax. The local law imposes a higher standard for vacation rentals: notification of surrounding residents and inspection are required. Operators must also provide a 24/7 point of contact during times of rental, and the use of hot tubs and amplified music is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (South Lake Tahoe Municipal Code, Chapter 3.50). Other City laws Many other cities have proposed or adopted regulations for short term rentals. Last year, San Francisco and Portland both adopted home sharing regulations with complex individual permit requirements and public registries that have been the focus of significant public discourse. Advocates and regulators continue discussing low permit utilization rates and iterating reforms to streamline the process. San Francisco's law authorizes primary residents (owners or occupants) to share their homes for up to 90 days (un hosted) and without limit (hosted). Portland similarly allows residents up to 90 days or un hosted rental and unlimited hosted rentals in residentially zoned districts, with unlimited short term rentals allowed in commercially zoned districts. Additionally, Santa Monica recently adopted complex regulations prohibiting un hosted rentals entirely and imposing blanket data sharing rules on internet hosting platforms that raised serious concerns from privacy advocates and the Los Angeles Times editorial board. Page 2

3 Sensible STR Regulations that Complement Public Nuisance Prevention and Abatement Cities already have comprehensive public nuisance ordinances with procedures for abating code violations, regardless of rental status. Additionally, existing municipal code provisions usually impose enforceable noise restrictions, garbage disposal requirements, and occupancy limits. Existing transient occupancy tax (TOT) and business license tax ordinances also generally contain their own enforcement and penalty procedures. Successful regulations provide clear, enforceable rules and do not necessitate costly new enforcement bureaucracies. Some approaches that have helped cities sensibly regulate while preventing public nuisances include: Maximum occupancy limits (e.g., two adult guests per bedroom + 1); Minimum parking space requirements commensurate with number of occupants; A point of contact available twenty four (24) hours a day (during periods of rental) to respond to nuisance complaints; Prohibition of amplified sound after 10 p.m.; Progressive fines for repeated code violations within 180 day period (often mirroring existing code enforcement schemes); Moving code enforcement divisions from the Building/Land Use Department to Police or Fire Departments, which have better capacity to respond to after hours complaints; Guests prohibited in STRs between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.; Establishment of after hours phone number and address for residents to report violations; and Prohibition of residential STRs for commercial events. Page 3

4 From: Murray Bruce Sent: Thursday, October 08, :04 PM To: Planning Dept. Mailbox Subject: share rentals Dear Planning Commission, I would like to voice my opinion in favor of being able to rent out part of our home. My wife and I have lived in Berkeley since We came so that I could attend the Master of Architecture program at CAL. In 1985 I graduated and a 1990 we bought a little house not too far from campus where we have lived ever since and raise our two daughters. At beginning of the economic down turn both my wife and I lost our jobs. As our daughters are now adults, and one attending UC Davis, we rented out one of the kids bedrooms to help cover the mortgage and keep our daughter in college. Initially we posted listings at graduate departments on the campus and then posted via craigslist and now post via Airbnb. Although my wife and I are now fully employed we continue to take in tenants as the additional income is helpful and foresee it being very helpful when we retire which is only a couple of years away. We have maintained our relationship with Airbnb for many reasons, all of them good. We have rented to a large number of people over these past few years and one continuing theme is that many of our tenants are here because of a connection with UC Berkeley either as graduate students, professors or researchers. Other people stay with us because they are relocating or they are having a holiday in the area. Whatever the tenants reason for the visit we provide them accommodation that is clean, convenient and secure. We ask that the city continue to permit us to provide this mutually beneficial service. Also, we can recall our first visit to Berkeley those many years ago when we were looking for housing and it was in short supply. There was a booming business in underground rentals and many were unsavory. It would be a shame for the city to force a return to those standards. Murray

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