San Diego has started dropping bombs on Airbnb hosts.
In recent months, the city’s sent out more than 240 letters demanding that folks renting out their rooms or homes pay hotel taxes.
Since then, 175 of more than 3,100 local hosts have signed up to pay taxes, and at least a quarter of them have been told they’ll owe more than just future bills. At least 40 hosts have started to pay back taxes – which can include late charges of up to 25 percent – for stays that occurred weeks, months or even years ago, according to the city treasurer’s office.
The demand letters, coupled with the case of a 70-year-old Burlingame woman who’s been ordered to immediately stop renting out two rooms in her single-family home or face $2,500 in daily fines, have fueled an atmosphere of dread for local hosts who use the Airbnb website, which allows hosts to rent their homes or individual rooms on a short-term basis.
Several hosts told Voice of San Diego they want to follow the rules but aren’t certain what they are, or whether following them will open the door to being charged huge bills for back taxes. Some weren’t willing to comment on the record out of fear the city will crack down on them.
City officials say they’re simply trying to ensure Airbnb hosts follow city rules.
Support Independent Journalism Today
Although few sites which provides rental towards reasonable cost.
We have the same problem in Los Angeles except there could be as many as 15K short-term rentals. This is not just about Airbnb, there are other listing sites such as HomeAway, VRBO, Flip Key. If the cities do not come up with a reasonable solution for back taxes this entire industry will go underground as it has been up till now. Hosts do not mind being compliant. https://www.zoplay.com/web/rental-booking-script/
Regulation will weed out the bad apples, the ones you hear the complaints about.
I am having a hard time understanding how the Airbnb model is lawful at all, taxes aside. Most of these rentals are for a single room or a couple of rooms for a few nights. The municipal code states quite clearly that in most residential zoning areas, you cannot rent out rooms for less than 30 days. There are exceptions, where the minimum is 7 days.
§141.0301 Boarder and Lodger Accommodations
Boarder and lodger accommodations are permitted as a limited use in the zones indicated with an “L” in the Use Regulations Tables in Chapter 13, Article 1 (Base Zones) subject to the following regulations.
(a) Boarder and lodger accommodations are permitted only as an accessory use to a primary dwelling unit.
(b) No more than two boarders or lodgers are permitted per primary dwelling unit.
(c) In the RM zones and all commercial zones, boarders and lodgers must occupy the premises for a minimum of 7 consecutive calendar days. In all other zones, boarders and lodgers must occupy the premises for a minimum of 30 consecutive calendar days.
(d) Off-street parking shall be provided at a rate of 1 space for each 2 boarders or lodgers. Within the beach impact area of the Parking Impact Overlay Zone, off-street parking shall be provided at a rate of 1 space for each boarder or lodger.
(Added 12-9-1997 by O-18451 N.S.; amended 10-18-1999 by O-18691 N.S.; effective 1-1-2000.)
It's incredible to find that the City will track down and find ab&b hosts when they say that they cannot do the same for home rentals in PB or College area, where residents have asked for years for help with the mini dorm situation or the reckless Summer rental situation.
Just to get this straight, people who rent rooms and sometimes the entire house or apartment through ab&b and types, are more of a threat than rentals that have 6 people living in a room, throw their trash over the fence, park in their neighbor's driveway and block them in, have raging parties until 3 am, then have visitors urinate and defecate in their yard?
In my opinion, this makes the City look ridiculous and petty.