Los Angeles restrictions on vacation rentals brought in to effect

US: New restrictions on short-term rentals in Los Angeles were introduced this week.

The measures have been “driven by complaints that an explosion of short-term rentals has turned apartment buildings into hotels and pinched the city’s already tight housing supply”.

In a 2017 report, the city’s planning department said between 6,000 to 10,000 units that otherwise likely would have been rented to long-term tenants were being used primarily as short-term rentals.

In December the city placed restrictions on which properties can be rented and the activities of renters, and imposed obligations on hosts, who have to register and pay an $89 annual fee. The rules became effective from July 1st.

The home-sharing ordinance bars any type of short-term rentals of properties other than someone’s primary residence. A primary residence is a place you live in at least six months out of the year. Bookings for all visitors are limited to 120 days a year.

When registering with the city, a host’s address on a federal or state-issued photo ID must match the address used for short-term rentals. Therefore, homeowners can only register one vacation-rental property with the city — those who own second homes or investment properties can rent only to long-term residents.

A host who rents rooms in their primary residence can create separate listings, but can rent to only one set of guests at a time, and short-term rentals of any kind are no longer allowed in rent-controlled buildings.

No longer will renting spaces in non-residential buildings or temporary structures be allowed, such as an Airstream or RV parked in a driveway or a backyard storage shed. To counter complaints of “rowdy Airbnb party houses”, a code of conduct was established, prohibiting amplified sound after 10 p.m. and evening outdoor gatherings of more than eight adults. Hosts must tell guests about those restrictions and could be held responsible for nuisance violations committed by guests.

In addition to registering and paying fees, hosts must keep records for city inspection and make sure smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and other safety features in rented spaces are operable.

Tenants can list their space on a short-term rental platform, but they will now need written permission from a landlord. Hosts do not have to be home when guests are there.

Once registered with the city, a host will be given a registration number to post on all listings or advertisements.

Agnes Sibal-von Debschitz, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, said the city will work with a third party to monitor listings in violation of the new rules. The platforms also will be responsible for providing information on bookings at units without registration numbers or those that have exceeded the maximum number of annual bookings, she said.

A representative of Airbnb said in an email: “We will continue working with our hosts to ensure they are aware of the new process and to answer any questions about registration. We look forward to continuing to work with Los Angeles city officials on reasonable home sharing policies.”

Be in the know.

Subscribe to our newsletter »