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Airbnb and Other Short Term Rental Properties Enjoy Return to Popularity in Pasadena

There are nearly 600 short term rental properties in the city

Published on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 | 5:34 am

While the COVID-19 pandemic dampened short term rental activities — such as Airbnb rentals — in the city, current numbers indicate that activity is now increasing to pre-pandemic levels.

During the meeting of the Economic Development and Technology Committee on Dec. 6, Guille Nuñez, senior planner at the Planning and Community Development Department said as of Sept. the city has found 589 STR listings in Pasadena. The actual number of properties that were advertising was at 353.

Nuñez said just last month the city received 15 applications for new STR permits.

In 2018, the City Council adopted an ordinance regulating short term rentals and establishing a permit requirement in response to an increase in short term rental activities in the city.

Current fee costs $109 and the permit must be renewed annually.

Business license is not required but the home being rented should be the primary residence of the person requesting a permit.

The host has to reside at the property for a minimum of nine months.

According to Nuñez, as of Sept. approximately one third of all STRs in the city have obtained STR permits. 40 % have not obtained the required permit and the remaining 27 % are properties where the address has not been identified therefore their compliance status is unknown.

Some members of the City Council including Vice Mayor Andy Wilson and Councilmember Steve Madison expressed disappointment over the high level of non-compliance.

At the meeting, they urged city staff to remind the public about permitting requirements.

As of Sept. 2022, the most popular platforms used for listing STRs in Pasadena are AirBNB, VRBO, FlipKey, Booking and Homeaway, according to Nuñez.

AirBNB is the most frequent booking platform used in Pasadena at 72.5 % of all listings.

Just like hotels, STRs are subject to transient occupancy tax (TOT). According to Nuñez, the amount of TOT collected from AirBNB from March 2018 since the ordinance regulating STRs was approved, until Sept 2022 is at $2.77 million. The city collected $380,000 from the remaining platforms.

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