Six LA council members oppose potential vacation rental law

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Five Los Angeles City Council members today met with union officials to oppose the city’s weakening ordinance against unauthorized and non-compliant Airbnbs and other short-term rental operations.

Councilors Nithya Raman and Monica Rodriguez, and Councilors Mike Bonin, Bob Blumenfield and Paul Koretz spoke outside city hall on Tuesday with UNITE HERE Local 11, which represents more than 32,000 workers in hotels, restaurants , airports, sports arenas and convention centers throughout Southern California.

Raman, Blumenfield and Koretz introduced a motion last month to strengthen the ordinance.

The city’s current ordinance, which was passed in 2018, limits housing sharing to primary residences and requires hosts to register for a permit. It prohibits platforms like Airbnb from processing bookings for listings that do not have a roommate registration number in town.

The five council members, along with City Councilor Kevin de Leon – who was not at the press conference – said they would vote against a proposed proposal to allow short-term rental in non-primary residences, this which, according to opponents, would allow 14,000 homes to be taken off the market and converted into short-term rental housing.

“We need to put an issue at the heart of this harmful vacation rental proposition, which would take thousands of units off the rental market amid a housing and homelessness crisis,” said Bonin, who was the one of the sponsors of the 2018 municipal decree. “The proposed holiday rental ordinance would reduce any hope of enforcing the existing short-term rental rules and would do real harm. “

A McGill University study prepared for Better Neighbors LA found that a third of the city’s short-term rental listings were illegal since the ordinance came into effect in 2018.

“If the city is struggling to enforce the house-sharing ordinance that we already have on the books, what makes us think we’re ready to put in place a new rental ordinance? vacation which, even properly enforced, would allow nearly 15,000 additional units to be taken off the rental market and turned into Airbnbs, ”Raman said. “I agree to vote no on the flaw in the vacation rental currently being considered. “

Raman introduced a motion to try to strengthen the city’s law enforcement on August 25 with Blumenfield, Bonin and Koretz. He was assisted by de Leon.

If passed, the motion would ask the Planning Department to report within 90 days on:

– recommendations on how the city can deal with non-compliant hosts who rent properties listed as primary residence but are not used as such, converting the stock of affordable housing to short-term rentals, converting from multi-family residential structures in short-term rentals, short-term rentals engaging in commercial uses / activities and properties that are rented for periods longer than permitted;

– enforcement mechanisms such as citations, fines, license revocations and criminal penalties;

– models of home sharing regulation and enforcement in other cities, including San Francisco, Austin and New Orleans;

– strategies to ensure that all housing sharing platforms operating in the city enter into platform agreements obliging them to share data with the city;

– strategies for implementing and improving data collection; and

– what endowment or dedicated unit, office or department is needed to consolidate various aspects of compliance and the application of home sharing within a multidisciplinary team.

“If we are to take home sharing and its many challenges seriously, we must provide the planning department with the resources to effectively enforce the ordinance, and this must be done before we start digging a deeper hole with a rental.” vacation. program. We currently require primary residence for a reason. What possible excuse is there for this change? ” Koretz said.

The ministry would also be tasked with writing a report within 90 days for a plan to create a centralized database or digital platform to better coordinate the tracking of non-compliant properties. The platform would be used for monitoring and enforcement purposes.

The Department of Town Planning would also be responsible for ensuring that the public can see whether a property in the city has a roommate permit, roommate license renewal, or extended roommate license.

“We need to protect our housing stock and ensure that we maximize the number of units available for Angelenos; it is imperative that we do not allow ‘vacation rentals’ to become a loophole that decimates the protections of the short-term rental legalization policy that we adopted just a few years ago, ”said Blumenfield.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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