Advertising Ojai short-term rentals will likely be illegal

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter

A new ordinance making it illegal to advertise short-term rentals that are within the Ojai city limits was presented to the City Council Aug. 9.

Fearing potential lawsuits, the Council voted unanimously to strike language that would have imposed penalties for unlawful advertisements on third-parties such as AirBNB and VRBO.

“If we put in an ordinance for both the platforms and the people advertising, we clearly run the risk of the platforms suing us,” said Mayor Paul Blatz.

City attorney Matthew Summers confirmed San Francisco and Anaheim are embroiled in lawsuits with AirBNB because of similar ordinances.

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