Via city of Santa Monica’s website.

As part of its continued commitment to preserve and increase housing in Santa Monica, the City Council voted at its June 27, 2017 meeting to ban the use of newly constructed accessory dwelling units (commonly referred to as guesthouses) from being used exclusively as short-term rentals.

This follows the State of California’s recent legislative efforts easing regulations in order to encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units and thereby increasing the state’s overall housing supply.  As such, the City’s ban only applies to new guesthouses that received building permits on or after March 31, 2017. Those built prior to March 31, 2017 are grandfathered and not affected by this ban.

Santa Monica’s definition of home-sharing is based on the traditional activity of sharing, whereby a person hosts visitors in their home, usually to earn extra income. These stays are for periods of 30 consecutive days or less, while at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the visitor’s stay.

Rentals of entire units in a commercial hotel fashion where there is no full-time resident occupying a residential unit, such as a house or apartment, are still banned and subject to code enforcement action.

“This update strikes the balance of preserving newly-constructed accessory dwelling units for potentially long-term affordable housing use while also preserving the existing guesthouses that are successfully and lawfully operated as home-share units,” said Planning and Community Development Assistant Director Salvador Valles.

Residents with eligible guesthouses or rooms for share can register for a business license through the City of Santa Monica Finance Department.

For more information about Santa Monica’s home-sharing program, including frequently asked questions, visit

Public questions regarding enforcement of the City’s Home-Sharing Ordinance can contact Denise Smith at or 310-458-4984.

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