A bill by State Sen. Steve Glazer's (D-Orinda) designed to discourage short-term rentals for the purpose of hosting rowdy and unsafe house parties made it through the Senate last month.
Senate Bill 1049, approved on a 32-7 bipartisan vote on June 22, was borne out of response to a mass shooting at a party hosted at an Airbnb rental in Orinda last Halloween. Five people were killed and four others injured, spurring Glazer's office to take action.
"This is an important bill that gives cities and counties the power to enforce their laws in a way that will get the attention of those who abuse their right to rent out a home," Glazer said.
Under SB 1049, cities and counties would be authorized to impose a maximum fine of $5,000 for a violation of a short-term rental ordinance. With many such homes renting for thousands of dollars per night on platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO, Glazer said that "a few hundred dollars per violation is not enough to deter bad actors from trying to make a quick profit."
During the second half of 2019, 42 people were shot either inside or just outside a short-term rental property in the U.S. and 17 people died, including those in the Orinda shooting.
“Short-term rentals offer a way to improve tourism and earn owners extra money, but unfortunately, there have been some bad actors that have used the platform to host large parties,” Glazer said. “These large gatherings have made some short-term rental properties the site of underage drinking, brawls, and noise complaints. Hopefully, my bill will act as a deterrent to such behavior.”
SB 1049 will proceed next to the State Assembly.