On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, the City Council of Santa Barbara voted unanimously to start a pilot program that will go after the over 1000 illegal vacation rentals in the City of Santa Barbara. They will be pursuing criminal charges!

However, what they did not plan for…a company (Haller Coastal Homes) to help people get legal, if in the legal zones of Santa Barbara with the guidance of the California Coastal Commission decisions and an understanding of what the current code includes/ does not include. It’s really quite simple… until the City of Santa Barbara develops an ordinance, specifically in the coastal zone of Santa Barbara and perhaps one for the inland areas zoned for this use, they cannot prevent you from becoming legal by obtaining the business license.

Here at Haller Coastal Homes we are and always have been the property management company in Santa Barbara that is the “rule follower” and thrilled to contribute to the city’s general fund with TOT taxes and NOT take away affordable housing. We are here to help preserve our community, work within the law and at the same time help keep local businesses alive with what they rely on every year, tourism. As well, the local government cannot restrict people from having second homes that sit vacant half the year. Why not provide jobs, help local businesses that depend on tourism and contribute to our City of Santa Barbara at the same time?

How to Ensure Your Property is Legal and Avoid Criminal Enforcement

Santa Barbara, California, is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, Spanish-style architecture, and Mediterranean climate. As such, vacation rentals in the area have become increasingly popular, offering visitors a comfortable and convenient place to stay while enjoying all that the city has to offer.

However, in recent years, the issue of illegal vacation rentals in Santa Barbara has become a major concern for the local authorities. In fact, with this recent announcement from the City of Santa Barbara to crack down on these illegal rentals, criminal enforcement we are told is imminent. As a property owner, it is essential to ensure that your vacation rental is legal to avoid legal trouble and hefty fines.

We want to help!

Understand the Law – We are not attorneys, full disclosure.

There currently exists NO permit requirement for a vacation rental in the City of Santa Barbara. The city may tell you one exists but this but it is not true. They believe this is a “hotel use” however, the California Coastal Commission has already ruled this is not a hotel use. What you do need is a business license from the city and right now, they are only issuing these in the coastal zone. We can help you with this!

Comply with Safety and Health Standards
In addition to obtaining the business license, we encourage our owners to go above and beyond (although not required) to comply with safety and health standards to ensure that your vacation rental is safe and comfortable for guests. This includes providing adequate fire safety equipment, ensuring that electrical and plumbing systems are up to code, and providing clean and well-maintained furnishings and appliances. Having a local Santa Barbara based property management company like Haller Coastal Homes, available 24/7 is also VERY important.

Establish a Good Neighbor Policy
Although this should apply to all rentals, even those with 10 college students, vacation rental owners should always have detailed signed rental agreements, verify the ID of the guest, have a guest list of who will be staying in the home and have a great relationship with the neighbors to ensure no one is disturbed with any renters. All of our guests have strict guidelines that help preserve the neighborhood…if only all landlords had these in place!

Keep Detailed Records
Finally, it is essential to keep detailed records of all aspects of your vacation rental, including bookings, expenses, and income. This will help you stay organized and compliant with local tax laws, and make it easier to demonstrate that your rental is legal if you are ever questioned by local officials.

Vacation rentals in Santa Barbara can help second homeowners pay property taxes that are some of the highest in the nation, generate income for the City of Santa Barbara and support our local Santa Barbara businesses. Being able to ensure that your property is legal to avoid legal trouble and hefty fines, we encourage you to contact us today.

By familiarizing yourself with the latest regulations, obtaining the business license, complying with safety and health standards, establishing a Good Neighbor Policy and keeping detailed records, you can ensure that your vacation rental is legal and profitable for years to come.

Partner with us…we don’t charge onboarding fees either.