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Glendale Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Glendale, California

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Glendale

The city of Glendale, California adopted Ordinance No. 5941 on December 10, 2019 establishing comprehensive regulations governing the rental of residential property for periods of 30 consecutive days or less. The ordinance allows limited home-sharing, where the host lives on-site during the guest's stay, but prohibits un-hosted vacation rentals.

The intent of the regulations is to allow some short-term rentals while maintaining adequate and affordable housing stock for Glendale residents, in accordance with the goals outlined in the city's Housing Element of the General Plan. The rules also aim to ensure that home-sharing does not become a nuisance or threaten public health, safety or welfare in residential neighborhoods due to issues like excessive noise, disorderly conduct, overcrowding, increased traffic congestion, illegal vehicle parking, and accumulation of refuse.

Home-sharing is allowed in single-family dwellings, condominiums, and multi-family properties, except where prohibited by law or private agreement, such as affordable housing covenants, apartment leases, and homeowners association rules. However, properties with accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are not eligible for any form of short-term rentals in Glendale.

Existing vacation rental operators had until May 31, 2020 to cease operations, while existing home-sharing operators had the same deadline to obtain the required Home-Sharing License from the city. Glendale's short-term rental ordinance applies to residential stays of 30 days or less, regardless of the booking platform used.

The city's regulations were developed after extensive community outreach, stakeholder input, and study of short-term rental policies in other California cities. Glendale officials attempted to strike a balance between allowing limited home-sharing to help residents supplement their income, while restricting the more impactful vacation rental model that often removes housing units from the long-term market.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Glendale

To legally operate a short-term rental in Glendale, property owners must register with the city and obtain a Home-Sharing License prior to advertising or renting out their residential unit. The license must be renewed on an annual basis.

License applications are submitted through the city's online permitting system at www.glendalepermits.org. Required information includes:

  • Host's full legal name and contact details
  • Proof that the short-term rental property is the host's primary residence
  • Signed affidavit agreeing to comply with all of Glendale's home-sharing rules and regulations
  • Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate number for TOT collection

There is currently no fee for the Home-Sharing License, but hosts must pay for the Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate. Failing to obtain or renew a Home-Sharing License can result in administrative fines and legal action against non-compliant short-term rental operators.

The city may deny a license application or suspend/revoke an existing license for reasons such as violating provisions of the home-sharing ordinance, operating an unlicensed short-term rental, failing to pay transient occupancy taxes, or causing repeated public nuisance conditions. Hosts whose license applications are denied or revoked may appeal the decision to the Glendale City Council.

Required Documents for Glendale Short Term Rentals

When applying for a Home-Sharing License, Glendale hosts must provide the following documentation to the city:

  • Full legal name and contact information for the host and property owner (if different)
  • Address and Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) of the short-term rental property
  • Proof of primary residence, such as a current driver's license, vehicle registration, or utility bill
  • Proof of property ownership or signed approval from the landlord/property manager to engage in home-sharing
  • Signed affidavit agreeing to comply with all provisions of Glendale's home-sharing ordinance
  • Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate number from the city's Finance Department

The city may request additional documentation as part of the licensing process to verify eligibility or address specific circumstances. Hosts must keep their Home-Sharing License information current and notify the city of any changes to their contact details, ownership status, or property characteristics within 30 days.

Glendale Short Term Rental Taxes

All short-term rentals in Glendale are subject to the city's 12% transient occupancy tax (TOT), the same tax rate paid by hotels, motels, and other lodging businesses. The TOT applies to all stays of 30 consecutive days or less.Licensed home-sharing operators are responsible for collecting the 12% TOT from their guests and remitting the tax to the city on a monthly basis.

This requires obtaining a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate from the city's Finance Department as part of the licensing process.Hosts must file TOT returns each month, reporting all short-term rental income received from guests. The tax is due upon the guest ceasing to occupy the space, and late payments are subject to interest and penalties. Failure to collect and remit TOT can result in legal action and revocation of the host's Home-Sharing License.

Some short-term rental platforms like Airbnb collect and pay the TOT on behalf of hosts in Glendale. However, the host remains ultimately liable for ensuring taxes are properly calculated and remitted to the city in a timely manner. The city also assesses separate tourism marketing district assessments on some rental properties.

Glendale increased its TOT rate from 10% to 12% in 2019, with the additional revenue earmarked for affordable housing and homeless programs. Short-term rental operators are required to separately list the 12% TOT charge on all guest receipts and booking confirmations.

Glendale-wide Short Term Rental Rules

Glendale's home-sharing ordinance establishes several citywide rules for short-term rentals:

  • Only hosted stays where the host lives on-site during the guest's entire stay are permitted; un-hosted vacation rentals are prohibited
  • Short-term rentals must not create noise, parking, trash or other nuisances that unreasonably interfere with neighbors' quiet enjoyment of their homes
  • Properties with accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are not eligible for short-term rentals under any circumstances
  • Multi-family apartment buildings subject to the city's rent stabilization ordinance cannot be used for short-term rentals
  • All short-term rental advertisements must prominently display a valid Home-Sharing License number
  • Hosts must provide a local contact person who can respond to any issues or complaints at the property within 60 minutes

There is no annual limit on the total number of nights a primary residence can be rented, after the Glendale City Council removed a proposed 180-day cap from the final ordinance. However, each individual guest stay is limited to a maximum of 30 consecutive days.

Hosts must ensure home-sharing activity does not generate excessive noise, traffic, parking issues, or other impacts that unreasonably interfere with neighbors' quality of life. The short-term rental property cannot be used for non-residential purposes like weddings, banquets, or commercial events.

Glendale requires short-term rental hosts to maintain at least $500,000 of liability insurance coverage for their operations. Hosts must also provide guests with a copy of the "Good Neighbor Code of Conduct" outlining rules and etiquette during their stay.

Does Glendale strictly enforce STR rules?

Glendale has established a variety of enforcement mechanisms for its short-term rental regulations, including administrative citations, monetary fines, and legal action against non-compliant operators. The city attorney has publicly stated Glendale will proactively enforce the home-sharing ordinance and shut down illegal vacation rentals.

The city's code enforcement officers investigate citizen complaints and properties suspected of engaging in unlicensed short-term rental activity. Violations of the home-sharing ordinance can result in fines starting at $500 for the first offense and escalating to $1000 or more for subsequent offenses. The city may also suspend or revoke an operator's Home-Sharing License for serious or repeated violations.

While some Airbnb hosts have continued renting without a license, arguing the city's rules are overly burdensome, Glendale has shown it will impose penalties on those disregarding the law. Unpermitted hostels and de facto hotels in residential neighborhoods have faced particular scrutiny from code enforcement.

Compared to certain California cities like Santa Monica that have largely banned short-term rentals, Glendale has taken a more balanced approach by allowing limited home-sharing with certain restrictions. However, Glendale's regulations are still fairly strict, prohibiting un-hosted rentals and properties with ADUs from participating in short-term rentals at all.

Overall, while not the most welcoming of short-term rentals, Glendale is allowing them in a regulated fashion, unlike some neighboring jurisdictions with total prohibitions. The city appears committed to enforcing its ordinance to curb negative community impacts and preserve long-term housing stock.

In 2020, Glendale's code enforcement division received over 100 short-term rental complaints and opened dozens of cases against suspected illegal operators. The city has issued numerous citations and collected thousands in fines from non-compliant hosts. Glendale also maintains a 24/7 short-term rental hotline for neighbors to report problems.

Is Glendale Airbnb friendly?

Glendale's stance on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb can be described as a middle ground approach - neither completely welcoming nor outright hostile to the industry. The city has crafted regulations that permit limited home-sharing under certain conditions while banning the more impactful vacation rental model.

Hosts can legally operate short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb and VRBO if they obtain a Home-Sharing License, pay transient occupancy taxes, and follow other city rules like living on-site during guest stays. This provides a path for Glendale residents to occasionally rent out a room or their entire home to earn supplemental income.

However, Glendale's primary policy focus is preserving neighborhood character and housing affordability for local residents. Prohibitions on un-hosted rentals, ADUs, and rent-controlled apartments aim to prevent short-term rentals from cannibalizing long-term housing stock. Operational restrictions on things like noise, parking, and occupancy are meant to limit quality-of-life impacts on surrounding neighbors.

Some Airbnb hosts argue Glendale's licensing process and regulatory requirements are overly burdensome, making it harder for casual hosts to participate in home-sharing. Full-time vacation rental operators face even greater constraints under the city's policy goals of restricting the practice.

At the same time, Glendale has not enacted a complete ban on short-term rentals like some other California cities. Local officials recognized many responsible hosts were using Airbnb to supplement their income and compromised by allowing limited home-sharing while restricting the more commercial rental model. This is a more permissive approach than certain neighboring jurisdictions prohibiting all rentals under 30 days.

Compared to the spectrum of short-term rental policies across California, Glendale falls somewhere in the middle in terms of Airbnb friendliness. The city is neither openly encouraging the practice nor completely shutting it down. Hosts can engage in home-sharing if they follow the city's regulations, but more intensive rental operations are restricted.

Glendale's balanced approach to short-term rental regulation has been praised by some housing advocates and neighborhood groups concerned about the impacts of Airbnb on communities. However, it has also faced criticism from some hosts and property rights activists who believe the rules are an overreach.

As the short-term rental market continues to evolve, it remains to be seen if Glendale will further adjust its policies. For now, the city has staked out a centrist position on Airbnb that allows limited activity with significant guardrails.

Do hosts operate in Glendale despite the rules?

Despite Glendale's short-term rental regulations, some hosts have continued operating without licenses or in violation of the city's rules. This includes property owners running un-hosted vacation rentals, renting out ADUs or rent-controlled apartments, and causing repeated nuisance issues in neighborhoods.

On the Bigger Pockets real estate investing forums, several Glendale hosts expressed frustration with the city's restrictions, arguing they rely on short-term rental income and believe the ordinance goes too far in constraining their property rights. A few stated they would continue operating unlicensed rentals, believing the city's enforcement mechanisms are limited.

However, Glendale has taken an increasingly aggressive approach to cracking down on non-compliant short-term rentals, issuing administrative citations, levying fines and pursuing legal action against violators. Problem properties that generate neighbor complaints or violate zoning and building codes have faced particular scrutiny from the city.

In one high-profile case, Glendale shut down an illegal Airbnb hostel operating in a single-family home without any permits. The property had multiple building code violations and was advertising up to 36 beds for rent per night, causing major issues for surrounding residents. After repeated neighbor complaints, the city issued citations and fines, eventually obtaining a court injunction ordering the operator to cease business.

While some rogue hosts may continue to disregard Glendale's short-term rental rules, the city has demonstrated a clear willingness to investigate and penalize violations. As enforcement efforts ramp up and more illegal rentals face legal and financial consequences, the risks of non-compliance are becoming harder for hosts to ignore.

The majority of Airbnb hosts in Glendale appear to be following the city's regulations and operating with valid Home-Sharing Licenses. But a not insignificant subset of hosts seem to be defying the city's ordinance, either out of economic necessity or ideological opposition to the policy. It remains to be seen if Glendale's stepped-up enforcement efforts will change this dynamic over time as the short-term rental market matures.

Some Glendale hosts have also explored alternative arrangements to avoid the city's short-term rental restrictions, such as offering 31+ day lease agreements or medium-term furnished rentals. Others have pivoted to renting out permitted spaces like detached garages or converted pool houses that are not covered by the ordinance.

Ultimately, while Glendale's regulations have undoubtedly made it harder for some hosts to operate short-term rentals, the practice continues both legally and illegally in the city. The coming years will likely see an ongoing cat-and-mouse dynamic between the city and non-compliant hosts as Glendale tries to strike a balance between allowing some short-term rentals and mitigating their most severe negative impacts.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Glendale

To legally operate a short-term rental in Glendale, California, hosts should follow these key steps:

  • Review Glendale's home-sharing ordinance (Ordinance No. 5941) and determine if your property is eligible for short-term rentals5.
  • Obtain a Home-Sharing License from the city5
  • Register for and obtain a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate to collect and remit Glendale's 12% transient occupancy tax on short-term rentals15.
  • Prepare your space for guests.
  • Create your short-term rental listing.
  • Begin accepting reservations and hosting guests
  • Comply with Glendale's home-sharing regulations on an ongoing basis
  • Renew your Home-Sharing License annually and keep your contact/property information up-to-date with the city5.

By carefully following these steps and complying with Glendale's short-term rental regulations, hosts can legally operate a home-sharing business in the city. Failing to obtain required licenses and meet operational standards can result in significant penalties15.

Who to contact in Glendale about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

For questions about Glendale's short-term rental regulations and zoning, hosts can contact:

Glendale Community Development Department
Planning Division
(818) 548-2140
[email protected]

This department handles issues like zoning, land use, and business licensing for short-term rentals. Staff can provide information on the home-sharing ordinance, permitting process, and allowed uses in different neighborhoods.

For questions about transient occupancy taxes and the Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate:

City of Glendale Finance Department
Revenue Management Division

(818) 548-3201

This division administers Glendale's 12% transient occupancy tax on short-term rentals and assists hosts with registering to collect and remit the tax. Staff can answer questions about filing periods, payment methods, and record-keeping requirements.

To report suspected violations of Glendale's short-term rental regulations:

City of Glendale Code Compliance
(818) 548-3700
[email protected]

This department investigates complaints about short-term rentals operating without licenses or causing nuisance conditions. Residents can file reports online or contact staff to discuss problems with specific properties. Enforcement officers conduct inspections and issue citations for verified violations8.

What do Airbnb hosts in Glendale on Reddit and Bigger Pockets think about local regulations?

On the Bigger Pockets real estate investing forums, several Glendale Airbnb hosts have expressed frustration with the city's short-term rental regulations11. Common complaints include:

  • The ban on un-hosted rentals prevents hosts from running STRs as passive income investments11
  • Prohibiting ADUs and multi-family properties from home-sharing seems arbitrary and limits options11
  • The licensing process and operational rules are burdensome for casual hosts11

However, some hosts on Bigger Pockets support reasonable regulations to curb neighborhood impacts and preserve housing stock11. They argue the rules strike a balance between allowing limited home-sharing and preventing the spread of de facto hotels in residential areas11.

In the Los Angeles subreddit, discussions on Glendale's short-term rental ordinance have drawn mixed opinions from hosts and residents14. Key takeaways include:

  • Many commenters understand the need for regulations to address nuisance issues and protect long-term rentals14
  • Some hosts feel the ban on un-hosted rentals is overly restrictive compared to rules in other cities14
  • Residents largely support prohibiting ADUs and rent-controlled apartments from being used as STRs14
  • There is general consensus that Glendale's regulations are strict but still more permissive than certain neighboring jurisdictions with total bans14

Overall, online discussions suggest Glendale Airbnb hosts have concerns about the limitations imposed by the city's short-term rental regulations. But there is also acknowledgment that some rules are needed to balance the interests of hosts, guests, and the wider community. Hosts appear split on whether Glendale's specific ordinance gets that balance right.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.