The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on March 9 denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against the City of Santa Monica by AirBNB and HomeAway in their fight against the city’s home-sharing ordinance, according to a release issued by the city.
Short-term residence-rental sites AirBNB and HomeAway claimed the city ordinance is unlawful under the federal Communications Decency Act, the First Amendment and the California Coastal Act.
In 2015, Santa Monica passed a law authorizing residents to offer “home sharing” for no more than 30 consecutive days. The law requires at least one of the primary residents live on site and be there during the guests’ stay. Santa Monica has a longstanding prohibition against vacation rentals, which it defines as the rental of any dwelling unit approved for permanent residential occupancy only “to any persons for exclusive transient use of 30 consecutive days or less.” Furthermore, in a vacation rental “the guest enjoys the exclusive private use of the unit,” according to the city’s planning and community development department. The city offers a home-sharing business license for eligible owners and tenants.
AirBNB and HomeAway have been feuding with the City of Santa Monica since it first enacted its home-sharing law. An initial preliminary injunction filed by the two home-sharing sites was dismissed without prejudice in September 2016. Santa Monica has filed a motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit, according to a city-issued release. The court is scheduled to hear oral argument for the dismissal later this month.