City of San Diego Repeals Short Term Rental Ordinance

After several months of public upset over the recently enacted Short Term Rental Ordinance O-20977 and O-20978, the San Diego City Council held a special meeting today to determine the fate of the ordinance. The Council was put to a vote on whether the STR Ordinance should be submitted to the public for a vote in an upcoming election, or whether it should be repealed in its entirety. In a very tight vote, the City Council opted to repeal the ordinance. This means the City of San Diego still does not have any clear legal authority on the issue, and the City Council will have to go back to the drawing board to draft new legislation moving forward.

Comments 4

  1. At 4 am I ran into your blog after a sleepless night due to my HOA saying I am in violation of the Covenants, Restrictions and Easements due the following rules that they quoted in a letter from the HOA attorney stating. Section 19. Leasing. “No Lot shall be leased for less than a six (6) month period, nor shall a Lot be leased more than two (2) times during a twelve (12) month period.”

    I live in a single-family home with 6 bedrooms. My two grown children live with me at times. I am on the Board and was Vice President when I received the notice on Christmas Eve “to immediately cease and desist from engaging in any further lease of the property for less than six (6) months and/or for more than two (2) times during any twelve (12) months period”. No prior notice or complaint was issued.

    The covenant and Restrictions defines “Lot” as follows; “Lot” shall mean any plot of land shown on the recorded subdivision map referred to above with the exception of the Common area (and any portion marked “reserved”)”

    I have been doing Airbnb for 7 years with no complaints in reference to any guest only a complaint that I was doing Airbnb, which I was first notified of in a letter from our Association attorney. I have 90 out of 92 reviews having a rating of 5/5 and the other 2 being a 4/5. I advertise minimum rental as 30 days or more.

    I was previously President of the HOA and currently voted Treasurer even after receiving the violation letter in January 2019. In my role as President I had final approval rights for all leasing of homes within the development. There is currently nor have there ever been a process for leasing less than a full Lot/ home.

    My Airbnb guest or using a room within my home while I am presents full time. I am not relinquishing any control of my home to anyone. I am almost 70 years of age and the matriarch of a large family who at times utilize the Airbnb platform to support our family home as they come to visit with their families. Currently my brother is rented a suite through Airbnb in my home for a month because he needs a series of medical procedures. He lives in the Bahamas. I am usually booked with medical students doing rotation at local medical facilities, some of whom I place a VP/CHRO of a medical facility. I also welcome and enjoy other guest especially my international guest.

    Can my HOA restrict my use of Airbnb in my home when I am present when their legal documents specify only restrictions (2 times per year and no less than 6 month) for leasing a Lot?

    I truly love hosting and have all my life. I reviewed the covenant when my dad and I purchased our home in 2008, I did not interpret the document to restrict number or terms by which I could have guest in my home while I am present only restriction of leasing my whole house/Lot/parcel. Am I on solid legal ground?

    Our (HOA) current attorney has given us ill advice before on protective groups, such as filing suite against an assistant living facility, even though I tried to advise that that they were protected by AHCA. The suite was stopped after major expense.

    As an Officer on the Board who cares about the community, I do not want to break the rules. However, I am not willing to give up my rights, my property and my way of life due to a misinterpretation of our legal documents. Please help…I wish you were in Florida. I am in Miramar Florida, which is Broward County. Nor do I want other homeowners rights to be unduly denied. I have offered to assist with putting rules in place to assist in reducing with any of their concerns.

    1. Post

      Thank you for your post. Unfortunately your situation will depend on the language in your HOA governing documents and your state local rules. I am not licensed in Florida so I cannot advise you on those laws. However, “leasing” is a broad term and would encompass any collection of money in exchange for staying in your property, whether you’re on the premises or not. My guess is that if your HOA has a restriction on leasing, then you would be in violation by conducting short term rentals out of your house even if you are present during the stay. My suggestion would be to work with the board and members in your HOA community to pass a new regulation that would allow partial home short term rentals in a primary residence while the owner is present during entire stay. Most cities in CA have adopted a similar regulation allowing partial home rentals in a primary residence, but not entire home rentals of investment properties.

  2. Hi Ashley,
    Do you know if there is any tot penalty waiver for rentals prior to 2015? I rented a studio in my house on an off from 2009 to 2015. I just got a letter from the city saying that I have to pay the tot and penalties. We will pay of course but I was wondering if there is any way to reduce the amount. Thank you for the feedback!

    1. Post

      Hi Rocio,
      Thanks for your email. Unfortunately I am not aware of any penalty waiver if you have never paid any TOT for your rentals. Transient occupancy taxes are generally due for any rentals that are less than 30 days, but for the City of San Diego, month to month rentals could also be subject to TOT if the rental agreement does not show the lease term as starting on the first and ending on the first of the month, not the last day of the month per the municipal code. If you haven’t been paying these TOT and have been conducting short term rentals, you will have to pay the taxes and penalties to the City.

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