Monterey County DA's Office says advertising Airbnb rentals for non-essential purposes illegal

INDIA - 2019/07/17: In this photo illustration a Hospitality service provider application airbnb logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Monterey County District Attorney's Office has received complaints about owners of short-term rental facilities -- homes or accessory dwelling units rented out via Airbnb and Vrbo, for example -- who may be advertising those units and encouraging non-essential travel, in violation of the county's shelter-in-place order.

Travel in and out of Monterey County is only allowed to perform "essential activities," to operate "essential businesses," to maintain "essential government functions and to perform "minimum basic operations" at non-essential businesses, the district attorney's office said.

The use of short-term lodging facilities, including short-term rentals, hotels, inns and the like, for vacation purposes while the shelter-in-place order is in effect is not permitted. Advertising rentals for uses not allowed by the April 3 order, or encouraging travel in violation of the order, is also against the law, prosecutors said.

Allowable uses for short-term rental units include providing lodging for health care workers and other "essential" workers; providing lodging for Monterey County residents who need to isolate or quarantine themselves, or get away from someone who is ill; providing lodging for safety reasons (including escape from threats of violence), sanitation or habitability issues; and providing lodging to people experiencing homelessness.