Vacation Rentals Turn 100’s of San Diego Apartment Buildings into Pseudo Hotels

by on August 9, 2023 · 8 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

The city of San Diego’s ordinance allows property owners to list entire buildings as vacation rentals

By Alexis Rivas, Mike Dorfman, Meredith Royster and Jay Yoo / 7SanDiego / August 8, 2023

In the thick of a housing and homelessness crisis, hundreds of San Diego apartments are off the market – off limits to San Diegans and set aside for tourists.

Those units are listed on short-term vacation rental sites, and allowed under the city’s Short Term Residential Occupancy ordinance. That new law was intended to increase the number of long-term rentals available, helping to solve the housing crisis.

While many licensed properties are in more traditional vacation destinations like Mission Beach, Ocean Beach & La Jolla, a large number can be found in neighborhoods that are typically rented long-term to locals.

Jay Goldberg considers himself a short-term rental compliance watchdog and has spent months analyzing housing and short-term rental data. He used the city’s short-term rental license database and the county’s property parcel data to determine how many units at each property have licenses. He found at least 273 buildings in San Diego where 50% or more of the units are licensed for vacation rentals. Goldberg shares his findings online at a site called

For the balance of this article, please go here .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris August 9, 2023 at 12:13 pm

As I commented on an article quite a few years ago, it may be time for long term residents who live near building that is owned purely for STVR purposes to start making things unpleasant for the guests so they won’t want to come back to that unit and they’ll spread the word back home to friends not to stay and that particular place. The owner will lose money and it will be a win win. Perhaps be more obnoxious than the guests. Mow the lawn at 7 in the morning when the vacationers are trying to sleep in with a hangover. Or maybe mow the lawn later in the afternoon sporting a Borat suit. If the guests of the STVR have children, perhaps play some really loud offensive music that no responsible parent would want their kids to be exposed to. Stage a rehearsed but lout Jerry Springer type of marital spat. Just be the most obnoxious and annoying local these STVR guests come across. Will it work? Perhaps not but it would be kind of fun.


chris schultz August 9, 2023 at 3:46 pm

Let’s talk about housing in a more constructive manor than being a nuisance to some sporadic renters. Freeing up hoarding.


Chris August 9, 2023 at 4:13 pm

That was meant to be tongue n cheek.


kh August 10, 2023 at 1:24 pm

Is this an Onion article? Mom and pop landlords are not a barrier to housing availability anymore than any other property investor. And turning over properties to larger entities is only going to result in property tax reassessments, rehabs, and higher rents. And maybe more short-term rental use, since there is apparently no limitation on how many an owner can operate.

I do agree we need less incentives for investment property, no matter who the owner is. And we need more incentives for first time owners, to help them build their own nest egg and finally see housing stability. There are more tax incentives to owning someone else’s home than in owning your own home. Which is just insanity.


Louisa August 9, 2023 at 6:22 pm

I looked zip code by zip code in a bunch of places. There are thousands, not hundreds, of housing units off the market for either STRs, vacation homes, or “Other” reasons in the city. I’d like to see it be much harder to have a vacation rental or a second home in the city. Now, there is no cost to the owner for keeping a place vacant. Investors simply bank $$ in real estate and leave it empty, even.

Fees and taxes for empty or short term occupancy should be much higher (than zero!) It should reflect the true cost on our society of having so many units unavailable to ordinary renters or people wanting to buy a home.

The article posted above makes no sense: Induce landlords to sell to free up housing? If those landlords have fully occupied properties with long term tenants, there will be no more units available for renters. I think the article was urging incentives to get small landlords to sell so that big INVESTORS can suck up more real estate even though they don’t care about the neighborhoods they own property in. Meh.


Louisa August 9, 2023 at 6:24 pm

By “article posted above” I meant the article Chris S. put up, not the Rag article, of course.


chris schultz August 10, 2023 at 8:31 am

Uh small landlords and big investors are one and the same. Investors regardless of rental situation. I’d like to see parcel ownership limits. 5 parcels in the state for example business/ personal total. FWIW


lw August 14, 2023 at 7:07 pm

I warned ya all, look what they did to my neighborhood, Mission Beach.
Wish we would have all rallied behind us when we had a chance to follow other California neighborhoods raped by STRV and banned them!
No one thought it could happen to you. Now it is worse.
Good Luck, I’m still fighting to Save Our Neighborhoods!
We are in this together…. Walk of Shame…marches on!


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: