At a time when a third of Palm Springs short-term rentals were in violation of current laws, the city decided to crack down on illegal Airbnb sublets and adopt harsh new rules to regulate the vacation rental industry. Since 2009, the number of vacation rental properties in Palm Springs have doubled, which resulted in an increase in congestion, traffic, disorderly conduct, vandalism, parking violations and also created a shortage of low income housing.
New Rules Limit Airbnb Sublets
The pressure for new rules came from the hotel industry worried about competition, and from area residents in the Protect Our Neighborhoods group, which finds short-term rentals disruptive. The group filed a lawsuit to obtain an injunction on the city’s ability to issue new short-term rental permits until environmental studies about the impact of vacation rentals were completed and permit regulations were in place.
Despite political pressure, the city was unwilling to support a moratorium on new permits and upheld the right of residents to occasionally rent out their home. However, Council did pass new regulations in December 2016 scheduled to take effect in April 2017, right before the start of the Coachella Music Festival.
New regulations limit the number of times per year that property could be rented, restricted the number of permits per person to one except those who held multiple permits prior to January 2017, increased registration costs, and added new fines for violators. Both property owners and agents are now required to take a class and pass annual tests on rental procedures and provide a “live greet” to guest to explain house rules and neighborhood etiquette.
Now that the new rules have been in effect for several months and enforcement and monitoring increased, city officials believe that the majority of vacation rentals are operating within the law.