New regulations governing the use of residential properties for short-term rentals in San Diego appear to be closer to fruition. The San Diego City Council has long been discussing restrictions to limit the number of properties being rented on short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.

The rapid growth of Airbnb listings, especially in the popular Pacific Beach neighborhood, has accelerated the need for a decision. According to research firm, Airdna, there are approximately 8,000 active Airbnb listings in San Diego.  

Homeowners on both sides of the short-term rental debate have been seeking resolution on the issue and that will likely come soon. The City Council will meet on October 23 to discuss two proposals tabled by different council members.

The first proposal recommends limiting short-term rentals to primary residences only and for no more than 90 days per year. This proposal is the same as those passed in many cities seeking to end the practice of investors purchasing properties solely to use as short-term rentals.

The second proposal is far more “Airbnb friendly”. This proposal, supported by four council members, would allow for investors to purchase up to 3 properties for use as short-term rentals. If passed, this would make San Diego one of few major cities to encourage investment for short-term rentals and would likely result in a surge in property prices.

Properties such as this one listed on Airbnb may soon be restricted in San Diego.

Currently, San Diego’s rules technical require property owners to obtain a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate in order to rent out rooms or entire homes on a short-term basis (less than 1 month). Though many property owners have acquired the certificate, City Attorney Mara Elliot has declared that these properties are still illegal due to city housing zoning laws.

We’ll be closely following developments in San Diego and will post more news after the Council meeting on Oct 23rd. Please subscribe to our newsletter for updates on this issue as well as other developments in the short-term rental market.

You can find more information on this issue in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s opinion piece: Looking at Airbnb rentals from different angles, and from the La Jolla Light’s article: Short-term Rentals.