AB 1731 Takes Aim At Short-Term Coastal Rentals

For the last decade, San Diego’s government has debated regulations regarding short term rental occupancy (“STRO”). After the latest round of ordinances was repealed in October 2018, many believed it would be “when”, not “whether”, STRO regulations would be revisited. “When” has come in the form of Assembly Bill 1731 (“AB 1731).

 AB 1731 would bar qualifying properties from being rented for more than 30 days per year unless a full-time resident is on site. What is an STRO? As it relates to AB 1731, an STRO is a residential-zoned coastal property that is occupied for less than thirty (30) days. AB 1731 takes aim at investment or secondary properties in particular. In summary, should the primary resident live onsite at the property full time, then the property may be made available as a short-term rental 365 days per calendar year. However, if the primary resident does not live onsite at the property full time (defined as at least 270 days per year), then the property may not be rented to a short-term tenant for more than 30 days per year. It would also prohibit a city, county, or other local public agency from adopting, enforcing, or otherwise implementing an ordinance or regulation that would permit residential property to be made available as a short-term rental

 Proponents of the bill argue that vacation rentals are taking over beach communities and pushing out longtime residents. Opponents of the bill argue that AB 1731 could restrict money-making opportunities for families who own vacation rentals and that the proposed bill could hamper a city’s ability to adopt and pass their own regulations.

 AB 1731 is currently circulating the California legislature and has not become law…yet. Should AB 1731 eventually pass, it could have far reaching implications on the San Diego housing, market, including not only renters and tenants but those investors looking to purchase coastal properties with the intent of renting to short-term tenants. Like the proverbial “winter” oft-mentioned in Game of Thrones, STRO regulation is coming – whether that be in the form of AB 1731 or some future adaptation. If you currently own and rent residential property in a San Diego coastal zone or are interested in purchasing property in a San Diego coastal zone for the purpose of renting to short term tenants, you should keep a close eye on AB 1731 and its progeny as it could impact your plans for use of your property.

This update is provided to our clients, business associates and friends for informational purposes only. Legal advice should be based on your specific situation and provided by a qualified attorney.

Andrew Hall