For 2019, L.A. Tightens Rules on Short Term Rentals

After a long 3½ years, the LA City Council has passed an ordinance regulating short-term rentals in the City. How does this affect you if you currently offer any property you own as a rental on Airbnb or HomeAway or other site? The rules are outlined below. 
  1. Only “primary residences” are allowed to host short-term (under 30 day) rentals. A “primary residence” is defined as the place where the homeowner lives at least half of the year.
  2. Further, any property that falls under LA’s rent control laws (the RSO, rent stabilization ordinance) is barred from being a short-term rental. This means any of the following properties if they were built on or before Oct 1, 1978: Apartments; Condominiums; Townhomes; Duplexes; 2 or more single family dwelling units on the same parcel (there are a few additional categories).
  3. Hosts must register with the City, pay lodging taxes, keep records for city inspection, make sure there are working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and have info regarding emergency exits.
  4. Hosts can only offer their properties for up to 120 days per year. There are exceptions to this requirement, for example if they can successfully prove to the City that more days would not adversely affect the neighborhood and they do not have any outstanding citations issued by the City. 
Additional requirements are also being imposed on the online platforms that have to do with monitoring a host’s number of days and making sure they have registered with the City. The platforms are also supposed to hand over host information to help with enforcement of the new rules but Airbnb has pushed back saying they will not provide any of this info unless they have been served with a subpoena to do so.  
While these new rules may infuriate you, all is not lost just yet. Two Council members have already introduced a new proposal that would make a distinction between short-term rentals and “vacation rentals” and creating a cap on those too. This ordinance would also create some exemptions to the ban on rentals that fall under the RSO.  
If you have any concern as to whether or not your property falls under these new rules, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

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