August 23, 2016
On Aug. 10, the day before the new ordinances would go into effect, Anaheim’s acting city attorney, Kristin A. Pelletier, informed Airbnb’s lawyers that, after reviewing the law, the city will not fine Airbnb or other platforms. However, the platforms aren’t completely out of the woods entirely. In the letter, Pelletier added: “… this should not be construed to estop or otherwise prohibit the city from subsequently adopting a different ordinance that is determined to be consistent with the Communications Decency Act and any other laws deemed to be applicable to hosting platforms.” And as the city of Santa Monica, Calif., has shown, it’s still possible for cities to fine the Airbnb and HomeAway hosts who are operating illegal short-term rentals. This is also a strategy being pursued by a law that’s up for the governor’s approval in New York. Instead of fining the platforms themselves, a new law in New York would heavily fine the hosts who advertise illegal short-term rentals on those sites. Just because the city of Anaheim won’t fine Airbnb or its peers, it’s not necessarily backing down on its stance against short-term rentals. The original ordinance still includes fines of up to $2,500 for people who violate the new law by operating without a permit or not complying to its restrictions regarding noise, occupancy, fire safety, accessibility, and parking. It went into effect on Aug. 11….