Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > Huntington Beach legalizes hosted short-term rentals

Huntington Beach legalizes hosted short-term rentals

  • Jan 5, 2021 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Huntington Beach, California, surfers at sunset near pier

The city of Huntington Beach, California, has approved new regulations for short-term rentals that allow them to operate with restrictions.

The new measure allows “hosted” short-term rentals — where the host stays on-site during guests’ stays — throughout the city. All operators are required to get a short-term rental permit and are limited to one permit each. Operators must include the permit number on all marketing and advertising, including on platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

In Sunset Beach, existing unhosted vacation rentals may continue to operate as long as owners obtain a permit within six months of the law going into effect. No new unhosted short-term rental permits will be issued after those six months.

Short-term rental platforms are required to include short-term rental permit numbers for each Huntington Beach listing and provide monthly reports on their listings to the city.

Under the new regulations, which go into effect late this month, Huntington Beach vacation rental operators must follow maximum occupancy, noise, safety code, and liability insurance rules and designate a contact that can respond to problems within one hour — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Large gatherings are prohibited at short-term rentals.

The city may issue fines of $1,000 per day for violations of the short-term rental law.

Short-term rentals will become part of the Huntington Beach Tourism Business Improvement District (BID) and pay BID assessments, which are collected from guests. All vacation rental hosts in Huntington Beach must also register with the city for a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate, collect transient occupancy tax (TOT) from guests, and file monthly tax returns.

If a short-term rental platform does not collect TOT on behalf of its hosts, hosts are responsible for TOT compliance. Neither Airbnb nor Vrbo collect taxes or BID assessments on behalf of hosts in Huntington Beach.

Nearby Long Beach recently legalized unhosted short-term rental stays, following an ordinance passed earlier this summer that legalized hosted vacation rentals for the first time. The new law limits the number of unhosted rental permits in the city to 800. Property owners located in Long Beach’s coastal zone will have to wait for the rules to be approved by the California Coastal Commission before they can offer short-term rentals.

MyLodgeTax can help automate and simplify tax compliance for California short-term rental 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.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.

Learn more about CA lodging tax rules