Airbnb regulations are coming to Los Angeles
Cap 120 nights, principal resident requirement.
By Sam Catanzaro
After three years of deliberation, the city of Los Angeles has adopted rules to regulate short-term rental platforms (STRs) such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.
The bylaw, passed by the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday, sets a 120-night limit on STR activity, prohibits rental of rent-controlled units and allows guests to rent only their primary residence.
“Short-term rentals in property other than a primary residence create unfavorable consequences, including negative impacts on the residential character of the surrounding neighborhoods and an increase in nuisance,” reads the motion adopted by the city council on Tuesday. . “This ordinance will protect the city’s affordable housing stock by allowing only an authorized guest to share their registered primary residence.”
The regulations define “primary residences” as places where guests live at least six months a year. By allowing STR activity only in primary residences, city council hopes to crack down on “super hosts” who operate multiple shared properties across town. Additionally, rules passed by City Council prohibit hosts from renting more than one STR unit at a time in the city of Los Angeles.
“This is a big step in the right direction and we remain committed to working with the city to develop comprehensive and enforceable rules that are a model for cities around the world,” said John Choi, Head of Public Policy at Airbnb. “Airbnb will continue to work with the city to enact rules that preserve the economic benefits of short-term rentals for residents, while minimizing concerns about housing affordability. “
In addition to the primary residence requirement, these rules also set an annual cap of 120 nights on STR activity in the city. Hosts can, however, request an exemption from the City to operate beyond this cap for a fee of $ 850, if they have not received a citation in the past three years. Hosts who have received a citation may pay a fee of $ 8,500 to have their case reviewed in order to operate over the cap.
Housing advocates have applauded the rules passed by city council, saying they are a step in the right direction in addressing the homeless crisis in Los Angeles.
“As Los Angeles faces a housing crisis and a growing homeless population, the trend for Airbnb commercial investors to take homes away from permanent residents must end,” said Cynthia Strathmann, Executive Director of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, a nonprofit in “The LA City Council’s action today is a big step forward in addressing this growing problem.”
Many Airbnb hosts, however, testified at city hall on Tuesday saying the platform allowed them to pay off their mortgages as housing costs in Los Angeles continued to rise and the legislation would hurt them.
“LA is becoming more and more unaffordable,” said Rhonda Hayder. “preventing me from praising [out] my own house will not put [rent-stabilized] return units on the market.
Rules approved by city council, yet to be promulgated by Mayor Eric Garcetti, also ban STR activity from “non-residential” properties, such as tents, motorhomes, trailers and storage sheds. In addition, hosts who are renters cannot share their accommodation without the written approval of their landlord.
To read the full prescription, go to http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1635-S2_ord_draft_12-07-2018.pdf