Common Questions about Home Sharing

What Is Home Sharing?
How does home sharing differ from a hotel stay?

Choosing a home-sharing stay with one of our members is a unique personal experience. You will be staying in a home with an on-site host. You can choose a room, or a bungalow/cottage, or a whole house from our members’ accommodations. Your host can offer personal insights to Pasadena and the area — favorite restaurants, art museums and use of public transit, for example, that can make your visit memorable. 

Home-sharing accommodations are more family friendly than hotels. Many offer kitchens, laundry facilities, and backyards. Some of our host members also welcome your fur-babies as guests.

Because you will be staying in a distinctive and personal space in a residential neighborhood, you can experience Pasadena from a resident’s perspective. This also means being a good neighbor and observing noise, parking, and trash rules.

Each accommodation is individually crafted and each host has her/his own hospitality style. All of our host members are committed to the highest standards of hospitality. More than 45% of our group has earned the elite Superhost recognition from Airbnb, which signifies excellence in hosting standards. 

Please read all the descriptive information in the listing carefully before making a booking.

What is home sharing?

Home sharing has been defined in many ways over time. Today, it is viewed as part of the new sharing economy. However, renting out rooms in one’s home is not a new concept, nor is the need for this extra income.

Confusion about home sharing exists because many terms are used interchangeably. Airbnb is the brand name of the most well-known website platform where people can list rooms or whole homes for rent. However, because of the success of this company, its name has become the “Kleenex” of all home rental websites. There are many differences between the multiplicity of rental platforms—some truly catering to sharing space in one’s home (which is the Airbnb model) and some promoting vacation rentals by absent owners.

Is it Legal?

YES! Home sharing is legal – residents are allowed to rent rooms in their own homes or back houses on their own property. The Pasadena Municipal Code and Zoning Code, which our group supports and helped enact, allows for home sharing.

“A short-term rental is a dwelling unit which is shared, in whole or in part, for transient occupancy for periods of up to 30 consecutive days as a way of generating rental income. Ordinance No. 7317 allows hosted and un-hosted short-term rentals, subject to limitations. A Short-Term Rental permit and remittance of transient occupancy tax (TOT) payments on a quarterly basis are required. Vacation rentals and properties where the property owner does not reside for a minimum of nine (9) months out of the year are not permitted to be used for the purpose of short-term renting.”

Historic & Current Definitions

Multi-generational Homeshare programs were started in 1972 by senior advocate Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers. Homeshare is the exchange of housing by an older homeowner for help in the home and below market rate rent charged to the helper/renter. Homeshare was originally set up to benefit older people who needed support to live independently, but the concept has adapted to meet local needs and circumstances. The Los Angeles County program is usually open to individuals over the age of 18, who will be matched up with another individual who is over the age of 55, and together they will share their home. The program is only offered for people who do not need skilled nursing care.

Home Exchange
Home exchange initially was meant as an economical way of travelling and improving understanding between people from different cultures and backgrounds. Out of the several types of home exchange, the most popular is simultaneous home exchange, where two members of a home exchange website trade their homes at the same time convenient to both parties. The initial home exchange networks can be viewed as pioneers of the principles that are now part of the collaborative consumption movement, or the “sharing economy.” A strong degree of trust is necessary. Home exchangers led the way for today’s more commercial web-based home booking platforms.

Airbnb refers to the San Francisco-based corporation founded in 2008. As described on their website, “Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet.” Airbnb listings are found in more than 190 countries.

Airbnb handles all monetary transactions, disbursing the guest’s funds to the host 24 hours after the guest arrives at the accommodation. This is an added protection against fraud for both guests and hosts. Airbnb makes its income by charging a service fee to both the guest and host. In many cities, Airbnb also collects Transient Occupancy Taxes from the guests and disburses the funds to the city.

Vacation Rentals
A vacation rental is the renting out of a furnished apartment or house on a temporary basis to tourists. These properties are typically vacant (not owner occupied), used by the owner/s only occasionally, and managed by professional management companies — which may not even be in the same locale as the rental property. Vacation rentals are usually privately owned vacation properties (holiday homes).
A sublet is the arrangement in which the lessee (tenant) in a lease assigns the lease to a third party, thereby making the old lessee the sublessor, and the new lessee the sublessee, or subtenant. The sublessor remains liable to the original lessor in accordance with the initial lease, including all remaining rent payments, operating expenses, and all other original lease terms. The original lessee may obtain either a higher or lower rent payment from the sublessess. However, in some cases it is illegal to charge the subtenant more than the original amount in the sublessee’s contract (for instance, in a rent control situation).
Short-Term Rental

Property rentals can be divided into short-term and long-term leasing. Long-term property rental is relatively variable as far as the amount of time that defines it, but is often considered anything over 30 days. Those renting property for vacation use are more likely doing short-term rentals. This could be as short as a weekend, or as long as 30 days.