San Diego Short-Term Vacation Rental License Lottery Opens

There will be approximately 5,400 of these licenses issued citywide, including approximately 1,100 reserved specifically for Mission Beach.

SAN DIEGO — The application process for a new citywide ordinance limiting the number of short-term vacation rentals in San Diego is officially underway.

Owners of short-term rental properties can now apply for a special licence, limited in number by a special lottery, to offer holiday stays of less than a month.

Although this new licensing ordinance does not come into force until May 2023, it is already the subject of legal proceedings.

The lottery application process for these coveted short-term vacation rental licenses will remain open until November 30.

Applicants are limited to one license each and must know by December 16 whether they have received one or not.

“Today has been a very long time coming,” said board member Jennifer Campbell, who led the movement for the ordinance. She said this would not only improve the quality of life in neighborhoods with short-term rentals, but also increase the supply of available housing for San Diegans by limiting the number of short-term rentals available for the whole house.

“We think this will likely put at least 5,000 new homes on the market for San Diegan residents who live and work here,” Campbell told CBS 8.

Owners renting their property less than 20 days a year, or renting a room in their accommodation while living there themselves, simply have to apply for a license but are not subject to the lottery.

However, those who rent out their entire holiday home for more than 20 days per year will need to participate in the lottery.

There will be approximately 5,400 of these licenses issued across the city.

Mission Beach

In Mission Beach, however, where there is a much higher number of short-term vacation rentals, there will be approximately 1,100 licenses available.

Application and license fees range from:

  • $100 for those who rent their property less than 20 days per year
  • $1,000 for those who rent their entire home for more than 20 days

Applicants with a good rental history of their property will also have a slight advantage.

“Did you pay your TOT tax? Did you get a business license? Did you try to behave like it was a legitimate business with regulations?” Campbell added. “And those will give you little extra points in the lottery system.”

Lawsuit subject to legal action

This new order is also the subject of legal proceedings. A lawsuit filed last week against the city claims that this new ordinance, by limiting the number of available short-term rentals, would have a disproportionate impact on Hispanic families, limiting their access to beach and coastal rentals.

Campbell countered that she believed the lawsuit had no merit, pointing to the Coast Commission’s approval of the order.

“The California state commission that looks after land use on the coast and makes sure everyone has fair access to the coast: they approved that,” Campbell said.

The license has a duration of two years and can be renewed. For more details on the licensing and lottery process, Click here.

WATCH RELATED: The San Diego City Council is expected to give final approval to new short-term rental regulations (May 2022).

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