Short term rentals refers to renting a home or portion of a home for a short period of time. The practice has become more prevalent in many communities due to the growth of websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. While some residents simply see the rentals as a potential source of income and part of the new “sharing economy,” other residents perceive the changes as disruptive to the neighborhood. Potential impacts include an influx of transient residents, increased vehicle traffic, and complaints of noise and nuisance. Many cities are adopting regulations to address the impacts that short term rentals are having on communities.
On January 25, 2017, the Culver City Council and Planning Commission held a joint meeting to discuss issues and possible solutions related to the regulation of short term rentals in residential neighborhoods. At the meeting, staff presented a report on the City's options for regulating short term rentals. City Council decided at the conclusion of the meeting to create a Short Term Rentals Task Force to gather community input and formulate policy recommendations related to the issue. On April 11, 2017, City Council created the Short Term Rentals Task Force.
The Short Term Rentals Task Force met in June and August of 2017. Subsequently, the City Council Short Term Rentals Subcommittee met to further refine policy recommendations. At the City Council meeting on April 23, 2018, the City Council reviewed a staff report and received a report from the City Council Short Term Rentals Subcommittee on the Subcommittee's policy recommendations for short term rentals. The City Council did not take action at the meeting, but discussed the desire to obtain additional community input on the issue before taking further regulatory action, while moving forward in the near term with voluntary collection agreements for short term rental hosting platforms.
On June 11, 2018, the City Council directed staff to seek voluntary collection agreements (VCAs) with Airbnb and other short term rental hosting platforms. A VCA is a legally binding agreement between a hosting platform and the City for the platform to assume the tax collection and remittance obligations of the platform’s hosts (such as Culver City residents renting out a room on Airbnb) for booking transactions completed on the platform. The purpose is to simplify the process of collecting transient occupancy taxes (TOT) for short term rental bookings. The City Council approved a VCA agreement with Airbnb(PDF, 182KB) on September 24, 2018. Airbnb began collecting TOT on the City's behalf on November 1, 2018.