SAN DIEGO — New rules for operating short-term rentals in San Diego take effect May 1. 

Under the deadline, short-term rental property owners must have a license issued by the city. 

Karl Rand is a host and was instrumental in coming up with the permitting process.

“I am very optimistic. It’s going to solve a lot of the problems that we’ve had,” Rand said.

Under the new rules, there are four types of licenses. Tier 1 for part-time rentals, tier 2 for rentals that are a portion of a home, tier 3 for whole-home rentals – everywhere except Mission Beach, which is in Tier 4.

And only 1% of properties in San Diego can be short-term rentals except in Mission Beach where 30% of properties are allowed.

“By limiting the number of units, they can be used as vacation rentals that helps with the housing supply issue and then through the enforcement mechanism that will help with a nuisance issue like trash noise,” Rand said.

The license is issued through a lottery system. Rand says 90% of applicants received one. On the city’s website, as of May 1, 7,002 licenses have been issued. Mission Beach, though, is maxed out with a waiting list of 189. The applications now form the city’s database and serve as the first step in enforcement.

“The foundation for enforcement is to know first off who is allowed to operate a vacation rental, and who isn’t,” Rand said.

The City of San Diego is hiring five full-time employees who will be dedicated to enforcement. And online platforms like VRBO, will require owners to submit a rental operating license number or face being removed.

“I provided mine to VRBO after I got a notice, saying hey, let us know your San Diego license number or we’re going to pull you off of our platform,” Rand said.