October 19, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Federal Court Uphold City’s Homeshare Ban

Santa Monica prevails over Airbnb and HomeAway

By Sam Catanzaro

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the City of Santa Monica’s Home-Sharing Ordinance in the face of a challenge brought by Airbnb and Homeaway.com. This ruling confirms the City’s right to regulate home sharing in order to protect its limited housing stock for residents.

The district court and now a unanimous panel of three Ninth Circuit judges have agreed that the City’s Home-Sharing Ordinance is a lawful housing and rental regulation with the “central and significant goal” of preserving the City’s “housing stock and preserving the quality and nature of residential neighborhoods.”

“We are thrilled to have confirmation from the Ninth Circuit that our balanced approach to home sharing is working at a time when housing and affordability continue to challenge the region,” said Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis. “This is a big win for Santa Monica residents and our residential neighborhoods.”

This decision affirms the district court’s dismissal of AirBnB and HomeAway’s argument that the City’s Home-Sharing Ordinance violated the Communications Decency Act and the First Amendment.    

“The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office is pleased that the Ninth Circuit has unanimously upheld the City’s Home-Sharing Ordinance. This critical local law prevents residences in our community from being converted into de facto hotels; it protects affordable housing and it helps residents stay in their homes. As the Ninth Circuit itself has said, the Communications Decency Act does not ‘create a lawless no-man’s land on the internet,” said City Attorney Lane Dilg.

In a statement, Airbnb responded to the ruling by saying that the ruling will hurt middle and working class families who rely on home-sharing as a source of income.

“Airbnb sought to work with the City of Santa Monica on a solution that ensures working and middle-class families who want to visit the coast can find an affordable place to stay. Despite our efforts, the city insisted on an approach that was out of step with progress across the country,” Airbnb said.

The company went on to point out that in cities such as Santa Barbara, New York and Miami courts have invalidated municipalities’ home-sharing bans.

Santa Monica has some of the strictest home-share regulations in the United States, outlawing rentals of whole houses to tourists and travelers for under 30 days. In addition, vacation-rental hosts in Santa Monica can only rent individual rooms to guests and must be present in the residence throughout the entire stay.

In court, Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO contended that the Santa Monica law, which also required the companies to regulate their websites, violates their free speech rights under the First Amendment and the Community Decency Act, which protects web service providers from liability for content on their websites.

While the ruling this week only will have immediate impacts in Santa Monica, both Airbnb and Homeaway told the court during the trial that they feared that this litigation will spur copycat lawsuits nationwide.

The City was represented in this case by attorneys from the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office.

 

Related Posts

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

Santa Monica’s Police Chief Retiring

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

SMPD Cynthia Renaud announces retirement, to be replaced by former Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica has announced...

Virtual Staging Changing The Way We Sell Property?

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Chuck Lorre buys his neighbors home, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk selling his Santa...

O.C. Man Faces Federal Charges for Allegedly Setting SMPD Car on Fire

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Nathan Wilson, 27, faces up to 20 years in prison An Irvine man was taken into federal custody this week...

Santa Monica Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A Santa Monica day spa owner was charged...

Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project: Santa Monica Beat – October, 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project *...

Edify TV: Penmar Golf Homeless Encampment Update

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

The City of Los Angeles has taken new action in an effort to deal with a homeless encampment along Penmar...

French Restaurant Reopens in Santa Monica After a Decade

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Le Petit Chez Mimi now open on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica By Kerry Slater A restaurant that was located...

Michelin Reverses Decision for California Guide

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Restaurant guide says COVID-19 and wildfires forced decision By Kerry Slater The Michelin Guide has paused the announcement of Stars,...

Santa Monica Bans Street Performers at Peak Times at Promenade and Pier

October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

City suspends the issuance of permits for street performers at the Pier, Third Street Promenade, and Transit Mall By Sam...

Heat Advisory in Effect for Santa Monica

October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

Heat advisory in effect until 5 p.m. Friday By Sam Catanzaro The National Weather Service (NWS) has declared a heat...

UCLA Health to Use Faster COVID-19 Test

October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

SwabSeq testing platform to be rolled out after FDA approval Scientists at UCLA Health will soon be using a new...

Venice Family Clinic Collecting School Supplies, Hygiene Products

October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

Clinic celebrating 50 year anniversary by asking the community to participate in volunteer opportunities By Kerry Slater As part of...