Briefcase: Homesharing Regulations

Guest: Kellen Zale


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A recent court decision upheld the city of Santa Monica's authority to regulate homesharing. Kellen Zale with the University of Houston Law Center is a land-use professor, and explains the implications of this ruling on platforms such as Airbnb.

"The city's ordinance requires residents to obtain a license," Professor Zale said. "It prohibits homesharing platforms from collecting a fee if they book an unlicensed rental. The law was designed to preserve local housing stock and character of neighborhoods."

The homesharing businesses attempted to object to the city’s regulation. "They argued that federal law protected them," Zale continued. "However, the court upheld the ordinance, holding that the platforms are protected when posting the content, but not when conducting the transactions for unlicensed homes. In short, this local government win paves the way for more homesharing regulations across the country."

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