Long Beach approves unhosted short-term rentals
- Nov 24, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Short-term rental operators in Long Beach, California, will be allowed to offer guests unhosted stays, thanks to a new law passed by the City Council. The measure follows up on an ordinance passed earlier this summer that legalized vacation rentals for the first time. That law required hosts to be on site during guests’ stays.
The new law limits the number of unhosted rental permits in the city to 800. Owners are only allowed to register one property as a short-term rental, although they can register two if one of them is the owner’s primary residence.
Hosts who break the rules can be fined $1,000 per violation, and the city can revoke an owner’s short-term rental license for repeated violations.
The new measure also enables Long Beach property owners to petition to ban short-term rentals in their census block. When a property owner requests a petition, the city will take a vote of the census block by mail. A ban can pass when a simple majority of voters in the census block approve it.
Long Beach sent the previous ordinance to the California Coastal Commission for approval, which is still pending. The city will send the new changes to the commission for consideration. Property owners located in the city’s coastal zone will have to wait for the rules to be approved by the commission before they can offer short-term rentals.
The earlier ordinance, which went into effect October 24, requires hosts to get a short-term rental permit and include registration numbers in advertisements. Operators are limited to one primary-residence short-term rental within the city and must designate a contact who can be available to respond to rental complaints or problems within an hour. They must also provide proof of $1 million coverage in liability insurance or conduct short-term rental transactions through a platform that provides the equivalent.
The rules also restrict the number of short-term rental units within multifamily buildings and require a city permit for large-scale events.
Long Beach rental hosts are also responsible for collecting the city’s transient occupancy tax from guests and remitting the tax to the city via monthly tax returns. If a short-term rental hosting platform such as Airbnb or Vrbo agrees to collect the tax on behalf of its hosts, the platform and the host share responsibility to collect and pay the tax.
Airbnb collects the city tax on behalf of its Long Beach hosts, while Vrbo does not.
MyLodgeTax can help automate and simplify tax compliance for Long Beach hosts. For more on lodging taxes in California, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.