The City Council tightened the home-sharing ordinance after discovering that a five-bedroom home, pictured, was listed for up to 36 guests. (Airbnb)

A historic, five-bedroom house on the north edge of Santa Monica has been converted into an Airbnb housing up to 36 people.

The 1924 Pueblo Revival home at 710 Adelaide Place has been listed on Airbnb since March, when it was sold for about $2.9 million, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Neighbors say the home, a local landmark known as the Zuni House, is being operated as a de facto hostel and disturbing nearby residents.

“There are people coming and going at all hours of the day and night, scooters blocking the sidewalk and cigarette butts and beer cans left on the street and sidewalk,” said George Preonas, who lives down the street.

The Airbnb listing claims the home can hold three dozen people.

“The maximum of 36 people in total can stay at the same time combining all rooms,” the listing says. “This almost never happens, but expect the bathrooms and the common areas get a bit busy especially on weekends and also DO NOT EXPECT you will share this house with the small number of people when you book. There are three bathrooms in the house and it’s all shared.”

The city of Santa Monica enacted a home-sharing ordinance in 2015 that is meant to prevent permanent housing from being converted to vacation rentals. It allows residents to host guests in their home for 30 days or less while living on-site throughout the guests’ stay but does not set a limit on the number of guests allowed.

The Airbnb’s operator, Ryusei “Ryan” Shimizu, has an active business license registered to 710 Adelaide Place and states on the property’s Airbnb listing that he is present in the home during guests’ stays.

Neighbors say the owners of the house live in Texas. The house rents for $16,000 a month, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Shimizu hosts another home in Santa Monica through Airbnb and states that he is also present there during guests’ stays. The home at 2002 20th Street contains a private bedroom and a bedroom with bunk beds. The property’s business license is registered to Chisato Tanabe.

Both properties are also listed on another website, relaxtay.com. The website also lists several apartments in Los Angeles as short-term rentals.

Preonas said he and other neighbors have reached out to the city of Santa Monica to shut down the short-term rental at 710 Adelaide Place on the basis that Shimizu is violating the home-sharing ordinance by renting out two properties.

They have also argued that Shimizu is operating a business in a residential area and violating building and fire codes by sleeping up to 36 people in the five-bedroom house.

“What’s frustrating to me is that you have an ordinance that has no limit on the number of people who can home-share,” Preonas said. “This guy has set up a hotel in our neighborhood.”

City spokesperson Constance Farrell said the city approved a home-sharing application for 710 Adelaide Place that indicated the property could host a maximum of 16 overnight guests. The Code Enforcement Division is investigating multiple complaints that neighbors have made regarding the use of the property, she said.

“City staff will continue to investigate this situation and consider any appropriate enforcement or legislative responses,” Farrell said.

Shimizu said he is operating a legal and licensed business at 710 Adelaide Place. A city inspector did not find any issues at the property, he added.

“I’m doing it in a good manner,” he said. “I’m not doing anything wrong to the neighborhood.”

madeleine@smdp.com

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2 Comments

  1. What are local authorities doing about this?
    How can we allow such slumlords, and other initiatives such as PodShare, to operate in our neighborhoods?
    Are we ok with accepting such Dickensian practices in our community?
    Is this what we are? What defines us?
    Can we, and de we want to do, and be, better?

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