I-Team reveals how foodie Los Angeles hosts offer rent-stabilized apartments on Airbnb – NBC Los Angeles

Affordable housing is hard to come by in Los Angeles, and I-Team NBC4 has discovered why some rent-stabilized apartments are disappearing from the market.

The I-Team found that some people were renting affordable apartments aimed at long-term tenants and then offering them to tourists on AirBnb, making a considerable profit.

“There is only a fixed number of rent-stabilized units in the city of Los Angeles. So when you rent a unit like this as a short-term vacation rental, a rent-stabilized unit is taken off the market,” says Tori Funk of Better Neighbors LA, an advocacy group whose members include tenants. , affordable housing activists and hospitality workers.

It is illegal in Los Angeles to offer short-term vacation rentals in rent-stabilized buildings.

Better Neighbors LA spotted a vacation rental on Airbnb described as a “2-bedroom suite in WeHo” or West Hollywood, so Tori Funk rented it.

She quickly figured out the true location; it was not in West Hollywood, but in the city of Los Angeles, in the Park La Brea rent-stabilized apartment complex.

Funk says some Airbnb hosts describe their vacation rentals as being in cities other than Los Angeles, such as West Hollywood, to avoid detection by Los Angeles officials who monitor Airbnb listings to make sure they don’t. are not located in rent-stabilized buildings.

After Funk paid a deposit on the Park La Brea Airbnb, the host messaged him saying, “Do not visit the on-site rental office. If someone asks, say you’re visiting a friend. Do not mention your [Airbnb]reservation.”

“I guess they don’t want us to mention our Airbnb ad because they might get caught by the city of Los Angeles. So they’re asking us to lie about why we’re here,” Funk told IA. I-Team.

Airbnb hosts can potentially make a lot of money by buying affordable apartments and listing them as vacation rentals.

For example, a host who takes a long-term lease in Park La Brea for around $3,000 per month and then charges tourists $240 per night can bring in over $6,000 per month.

“They make a lot more money than they would if they rented it out to someone on a monthly basis,” says Tori Funk.

And having an Airbnb vacation rental in the apartment next to you can be a big headache for long-term residents of rent-stabilized buildings.

“I called it the fraternity house,” said Elden Rhoads, who says there was an Airbnb right next to his apartment in Park La Brea. In fact, at one point last year she said there were three Airbnb rentals on her floor.

“There’s partying, drinking, smoking…sometimes in the hallways,” Rhoads told I-Team.

When the I-Team contacted Airbnb about illegal listings, like the one Tori Funk rented from Park La Brea, the company said, “We have removed the listing from our platform. We have worked closely with city officials to develop a compliance system and will continue to work closely to promote responsible hosting and respond to the small number of hosts who attempt to circumvent the rules.

The I-Team also contacted the host who listed Tori Funk’s rented apartment, but he never responded.

A Park La Brea spokesperson told NBC4: “Park La Brea does not allow short-term rentals of its units. We take this issue very seriously and have a robust set of protocols in place to identify and remove any short-term listings from our units and are working closely with law enforcement, other property management companies and advocacy groups fighting this issue.

And the LA Planning Department, which regulates short-term rentals, says you can report hosts who appear to be illegally offering a residence for short-term rental by emailing them at [email protected]

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