Some San Diegans are encouraged by a new proposed law that limits the availability of short-term vacation rentals, while others fear property owners will dodge the law and bring more trouble to the neighborhood.
Assembly Bill 1731 limits the amount of days a vacation rental platform -- think Airbnb or VRBO -- could make a property available for short term rentals to 30 days out of the year. One exception is if the owner of the property lives there full time.
John Happer has lived full time in his Crown Point home for 20 years. So after years of frustrating short term-rental debates, with little result, news AB 1731 passed the Assembly this week was encouraging.
“We want to try and keep this a neighborhood,” he said. But some haven't been the best neighbors.
“We've had people pull up, you know, a full bus load of guys that fall out of the bus carrying cases of beer, and then go in the house turn up the music start going crazy,” he added.
The City of San Diego collected nearly $3 million in short-term rental tax revenue, the largest amount since 2015.
Vacation rental property manager, and president of Share San Diego, Jonah Mechanic argues property owners will just put their rentals 30 days on Airbnb, and 30 days on VRBO, and 30 days on another STVR platform, then resort to unregulated sites.
“It is a deeply flawed, and very complicated bill and quite honestly, ineffective,” mechanic said of AB 1731. “What you're doing is your taking the good rentals away from the Airbnb's and Homeaways of the world who pay taxes and follow the rules, and you're shifting them over to Craigslist.”
Mechanic says the bulk of owners who rent plan to live at their properties full time down the road.
“They want to be our long-term neighbors and one day they will be,” he said.
AB 1731 is headed to the state senate for a vote.