Easy Reader Staff

Manhattan Beach warns short term rental websites

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A Manhattan Beach rental listing on Airbnb.com

A Manhattan Beach rental listing on Airbnb.com

Responding to complaints that short term rentals were continuing in spite of the ordinance passed last year against them, the city sent letters to five rental websites, asking them to remove them.

Letters were sent to AirBnB, HomeAway, FlipKey, Roomarama and Villas.com on Mar. 29 by the city attorney.

Councilmember Wayne Powell brought the issue before the council at a recent meeting, saying that he had heard from residents who said that the rentals had persisted.

As of Apr. 22, rentals within the city were still listed on AirBnB and Flipkey. None came up in searches on HomeAway or Roomarama. A search on Villas.com showed only hotel rooms. AirBnB and Flipkey didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Although short term rentals were already illegal under city code, the finance department had mistakenly been issuing business permits and collecting hotel taxes from almost 60 property owners. Last June, the council took up the issue, hearing from a number of people on both sides of the issue. They ultimately decided to pass a law reaffirming the ban. A grace period was left  for those who had received permits to continue operating through December.

The city has received about eight complaints since the ordinance was passed, according to Planning Manager Laurie Jester.

Powell said he’d gotten about a dozen phone calls since February from residents asking when the last of the legal short term rentals would end.

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