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Santa Monica Wins Another Victory In Fight Against Illegal Rentals


Bob KronovetrealtyWe Love Property Management Headaches!

SMTT tourism and economy

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Jorge Casuso

July 10, 2018 -- Two weeks after winning a major court victory against two short-term rental platforms, the City of Santa Monica was handed another key win when a California Appellate Court affirmed a decision against vacation rental operator Globe Homes LLC last week.

The Court on July 2 upheld a trial court decision finding 35 counts of illegal vacation rental related violations against Globe, which unlawfully took numerous residential housing units off the rental housing market in 2016, City officials said.

“The City of Santa Monica has consistently dedicated policies and resources toward producing, protecting and preserving housing in our community,” Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen said in a statement Tuesday.

“We are pleased that these important legislative principles withstood their first appellate review.”

When the trial court decision in favor of the City was handed down in March of last year, the City Attorney's Office hailed it as "a significant milestone" ("Vacation Rental Company Violated Santa Monica Law, Judge Rules," March 30, 2017).

Before filing suit, the office had worked with the Code Enforcement Division to educate the vacation rental company, which continued to employ various tactics to deceive investigators, City officials said.

Unlike Airbnb -- which allows individuals to share their homes with short-term renters -- Globe serves as a broker and, in some cases, provides leasing and potential management services, City officials said.

Santa Monica's 2015 homesharing law allows residents to rent to visitors for less than 31 days, as long as the resident and visitor are both present in the home.

Un-hosted short-term rentals, known as "vacation rentals," remain illegal.

Last month, a federal district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by Airbnb and challenging Santa Monica's law ("Federal Court Tosses Challenge to Santa Monica's Home-Sharing Law," June 18, 2018).

The lawsuit sought to invalidate portions of the City's law that "penalize online platforms for booking short-term rentals of unlicensed properties," City officials said.


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