Number of Pasadena’s Short-Term “Homes for the Holidays” Decreases Sharply

City to ring in first New Year with short-term rental ordinance in place

Published : Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | 6:10 AM

Short-term housing rentals like Airbnb are down by about 22 percent as Pasadena sees its first holiday season with formally legalized home-sharing regulations, according to city officials.

But with New Year’s Day still more than a month away, it’s yet to be seen how many of those who flock into town for the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl will staying at these “homes away from home.” rather than traditional hotels and motels.

Short-term rentals were not formally sanctioned or regulated here until the Pasadena City Council adopted an ordinance early this year. The rentals are now officially allowed in the city, though renters are required to obtain permits from the city and pay a “transient occupancy tax” of 12.11 percent.

“We have seen a reduction in home-sharing listings, dropping from approximately 735 this time last year to approximately 575 listings currently,” Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.

“This reduction may be in part to the requirement to obtain a permit for the activity and pay TOT fees,” she said.

Pasadena HomeSharing Network President Lia Enkelis said she didn’t see the new regulations as a significant hurdle.

“I’ve heard that people are very pleased with the way things are going,” she said. “Like any startup situation, there were some initial issues, just getting everybody registered, getting things smoothed out, getting the payments paid, all of that. But I think it’s going well.”

“I think people are happy to be legal, happy to be contributing,” Enkelis said.

She said none of her guests had complained about the tax, adding that they would be subject to taxes staying at a hotel, as well. “I don’t think it’s causing us any problems.”

“I think everybody’s looking forward to a great New Year season. Obviously, the Rose Bowl is one of our big attractions here in Pasadena, the (Rose) Parade and the game, and we’ve been providing good housing for people during that time,” Enkelis said.

“It’s a particularly nice option for people traveling with pets or people traveling with families that want more space and a kitchen,” she said. “We have lovely hotels in Pasadena, but you know, there’s room for all kinds of types of accommodations.

The short-term rental industry is doing better than ever, according to a recent report by CNBC.

Airbnb reported well over $1 billion in revenue during the third quarter, representing its strongest year since its inception in 2008, CNBC reported. The company plans to go public next year.

There have been few community complaints about short-term rentals in Pasadena, Derderian said.

(During public debate prior to passage of Pasadena’s short-term rental ordinance, some in West Pasadena had urged outlawing such rentals on grounds that local houses could become the scenes of destructive “frat house” style parties.)

The city has established a hotline for residents to voice concerns about short-term rentals in their neighborhoods.

“Less than 10 calls have been received via the hotline in the past four months, and half of those calls were general inquiries on the permitting process,” she said. Of those who do call with concerns, “Generally, the calls involve inquiries on whether a property has the required city permit to conduct the short-term rental.”

More information about the Pasadena’s short-term rental policy is available on the city’s website.