Enforcement of Short-Term Rentals Getting Stricter

To help enforce the City’s prohibition of short-term rentals, City staff is recommending a revision to the short-term rental ordinance to increase its enforcement efforts. The Planning Commission will take this under consideration at their Thursday, November 19 meeting.

What is considered a short-term rental in Irvine?  

Irvine’s zoning ordinance defines a short-term rental as a “rental or other occupancy of a dwelling unit or part of a dwelling unit to visitors where lodging is furnished for a period of 30 consecutive days or less.” 

If approved, the new ordinance would require online booking platforms such as VRBO, Airbnb, HomeShare, and others to verify that all transactions advertising property rentals in Irvine “are not for less than 30 consecutive days.

The ordinance places responsibility on the hosting platforms to assist in preventing short-term rental transactions from being processed, or face penalties. The Irvine Municipal Code provides the ability for the City to pursue the online platforms with administrative remedies, or to pursue the violation as a misdemeanor.

Santa Monica and San Francisco have adopted similar regulations with success. The City of Santa Monica ordinance was challenged and the court ruled that Santa Monica can impose on the online platforms to verify permitting status.

Irvine has significantly reduced the number of unpermitted short-term rentals. In May 2019, staff estimated as many as 1,508 short-term rental properties were being advertised in the City. According to the City staff report, current estimates show it has been reduced to 636.

This is the link to the e-Comment form for this agenda item. City Hall is still closed to the public but residents can participate in the Planning Commission meetings by submitting an e-Comment form under Agenda Item #3.