City of Santa Monica short-term rental law
FAQsWhy is a license number required now? Hasn’t this law been in effect for a quite a while?
Santa Monica’s law imposes stiff penalties on hosting platforms, like HomeAway.com, for allowing the booking of an unlicensed residential short-term rental.
HomeAway has been engaged in a challenge to the law in federal court since 2016, and also engaged in months of negotiation with the City, but the court upheld Santa Monica’s law in March 2018. We are deeply disappointed in the court’s ruling, and HomeAway is appealing the decision.
Rather than remove all residential short-term rental listings from our websites during the appeal, we entered into an agreement with the City that would allow our partners to continue to list and book their properties so long as they have obtained a license from the City and have entered their License Number into a mandatory field on their listing.
Who is eligible to engage in a residential short-term rental in Santa Monica?
HomeAway will allow any hotel, B&B, or residential short-term rental to be listed so long as it is licensed with the City of Santa Monica. You can find more information on the City's license requirements here.
How much does it cost to get a license?
There are no fees to register or obtain a license.
What if I want to rent out my property as a long-term rental (more than 30 days at a time)?
Long-term rentals (30+ days at a time) rented to someone who does not intend to live in Santa Monica are not allowed by the City. You can find more information about Santa Monica’s law here.
I already have a license from the City of Santa Monica, when and where can I enter it on my listing?
Owners will be able to input their license number as early as April 18, 2018. You will soon receive information from HomeAway via email explaining where to input this number.
When is the deadline for existing properties to obtain a license?
Owners must obtain a license before May 14, 2018 to keep their listing live.
Will my HomeAway subscription be refunded if I don't get a license?
No. If you do not obtain a short term rental license and input your license number by May 14, 2018, you will not be issued a refund for your subscription.
Will HomeAway/VRBO be verifying that the business license numbers entered are valid, current, etc.?
No, but the City will be. You must enter a correctly formatted license number to list a Santa Monica property on our platform. HomeAway/VRBO then passes along that information to the City, who is responsible verifying that the business license number is valid. The City will tell HomeAway/VRBO if any of the license numbers are invalid, and the associated listing will be removed from the platform.