I received a Cease and Desist for operating a short term rental from the city of Santa Ana

Level 1
Costa Mesa, CA

I received a Cease and Desist for operating a short term rental from the city of Santa Ana

Why me? I went live on airbnb in a city with no outright ban on short term rentals. In fact, short term rentals arent even mentioned in the citys code. They are claiming that because it isnt explicitly a permitted use of the house (no HOA) that it makes it unpermitted/illegal. For what it is worth, 1000's of airbnbs have been operating longer than me (3 months) in the same city. 


I bought this house specifically to airbnb. I have no idea what enforcement rights they may or may not have against me. 


If you are looking to provide context, I am only interested in the context of what other hosts may have experienced specifically in Santa Ana. 

1 Best Answer
Level 10
Santa Ana, CA

@Jordan819 , the City of Santa Ana changed their municipal code to a permissive code. If it’s not stated as a permitted use then it’s prohibited. Quite a few cities in California have such a code on their books, however, many STRs still operate. The city has been trying since last year to shut down STRs. Last year in September, we went to the planning commission department meeting (around 60+ homeowners/investors) and voiced our opposition. The planning commission backed down and sat down with a group of us to discuss working together to put a program with rules and regulations in place. The executive director of the planning commission was present at the meeting and stated they would hold off on doing anything until after the new year. Well, about 3 weeks ago some of us in the group received letters from code enforcement.  

The head of our group received an email from the executive director stating that the planning commission felt the cons far outweighed the pros in allowing STRs to operate in the city and therefore would be moving forward on prohibiting STRs in the city. A lot has changed (new mayor, council members and ward representatives). There are a number of us that are discussing our next move and how to approach the city council members etc… 


You may want to consider getting involved in our group efforts to fight the planning commission decision and appeal to the city council. You should also be aware of the pending SB584 bill being proposed in Sacramento that would impose a 15% tax on STR in the State of California. Here is the email of the point person of our group (**). Sheri also received a letter as well as others in our group.  

**[E-mail address removed due to safety reasons - Community Center Guidelines]


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26 Replies 26

Anyone received the email from airbnb about Santa Ana meeting to ban STR on 4/2? Thank you 

@Khuong4 , yes I did and we plan on attending the city council meeting next week (April 2nd). If you have a STR in Santa Ana, I strongly encourage you to attend, speak out in favor of STR and email all city council members (link was provide in the email sent out by city).

Hi.  I'm very interested attending the Santa Ana meeting to ban STR on 4/2, but I did not receive the email and cannot find the Zoom link on the cities website.  Can someone cut and past the link here?  Thanks.




How do we become part of the group?

Level 10
Santa Ana, CA

@Jordan819 , seems Airbnb removed Sheri contact info. 

Community Manager
Community Manager
Toronto, Canada

Hi @Ana2038 ,

I really thank you and appreciate your detailed response to Jordan! 


Keeping the privacy and safety of our members and concerned people in mind, we refrain from allowing members to share sensitive information such as E-mail ids, phone numbers etc publicly on the Community Center as per the Community Center Guidelines.

I would suggest sending the email id you wanted to share with @Jordan819 by sending a direct message, by going to their profile > clicking on send message. 

Thank you again for responding to Jordan and offering help!



Please follow the Community Guidelines

@Bhumika , already did..



Hi @Jordan819 , I received the same letter.  And the code enforcement officer came by today and said he was going to issue a $100 fine.   From a legal perspective, I must politely disagree with @Ana2038 on the code.  That same code mentioned does not list Renting your home as an acceptable business use.  And that is because it is understood that renting your home is acceptable.  The City of Santa Ana will issue you a license to rent your home.  However, there is nothing in the Santa Ana codes that restricts the length of time you must rent your home nor is there a distinction made in the codes between  "short-term" or "long-term" rental.   The 30-day minimum is being arbitrarily applied by the Zoning Code Enforcement in this situation. The City of Santa Ana codes do have a description of what a hotel is, and our homes do not meet such description.  (If you'd like further evidence on that, do a search on Keen v. City of Manhattan Beach, 77 Cal.App.5th 142)  The point is, an attorney may be needed to fight this and I am willing to go in on one and fight it together.  We need as many hosts as possible to go in together so as to defray the cost of fighting it.  Let me know if you want to chat further.  You can send me a message here or at **.  I think you can figure it our but we'll see if the AI here is bright enough to catch that. 


**[Content removed in line with the Community Center Guidelines]

Level 2
Costa Mesa, CA



My husband has a STR in Santa Ana and just got a similar letter.  I was wondering if there were any updates on what you ended up doing in response to yours.





Can you copy and paste the link to the Zoom meeting here?  Thanks.