In December 2018, after more than three years of discussions, the Los Angeles City Council passed a new home-sharing ordinance setting forth clear rules for short-term rental (e.g. AirBnB) activity in the city. The ordinance went into effect in July, 2019, and active enforcement began in November. At the time the ordinance was passed, city officials said they would monitor progress on the issue, and possibly revisit certain elements of the plan as time went on and more data became available. That process seems to be underway now as the City Planning Department has released a draft of a proposed amendment to the Home Sharing ordinance, with public comments invited until July 15.
The specific topic of the amendment is short term rentals in units covered by the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) – those built before 1978 and subject to rent control.
In the current version of the Home Sharing Ordinance, no short-term rental activity at all is allowed in any RSO unit, whether the person offering the unit is the landlord or tenant, and whether or not the rental is just one room in an occupied unit or a full unit. (These provisions are intended to protect rent-controlled housing stock from being taken off the market for long-term residential tenants and used instead for more transient visitor occupants.)
The proposed amendment, however, would allow one very limited kind of short term rentals in RSO-governed units – rentals by the RSO unit’s owner only, and only within the unit they currently occupy. In other words, “a limited number of owner-occupied RSO units” could be used for Home-Sharing, “while incorporating provisions to ensure that there is limited impact to the availability of rent-stabilized housing for long-term residential use and to limit potential abuse.”
According to the city’s Fact Sheet on the proposed amendment, the major provisions of the new rules would be:
- The applicant must provide documentation to demonstrate ownership and residency within the unit to be used for home-sharing
Home-sharing activity would continue to be prohibited in:
- Tenancies-in-common (TIC)
o Units on a parcel with more than four dwelling units
o Units in buildings that have been removed from the rental market through the Ellis Act within the past seven years
Limit of 120 days of home-sharing activity per calendar year
Limits on the number of home-sharing registration permits available
- Citywide cap of 4,000 registrations, which is less than 1% of the total RSO housing stock
- A limit of one home-sharing registration per parcel that is subject to the RSO
Home-sharing in RSO units would also still be subject to all the other requirements, limitations and enforcement provisions of the existing Home Sharing Ordinance, including:
- Registration of the unit being used for short-term rentals
- Measures to address nuisance related issues
- Penalties, including fines, for short-term rental operators and hosting platforms who violate the provisions of the Home-Sharing Ordinance
- Procedures for suspending or revoking home-sharing registrations when provisions of the ordinance have been violated
- Additional enforcement tools and resources
For more information, see the city’s full FAQ on the proposed amendment at https://planning.lacity.org/odocument/7cdafb3f-7e2c-422f-a749-d279c9e2a9fb/FAQ_HSO_Amendment.pdf
The Planning Department will hold an online public hearing on the proposed amendment on Thursday, June 4, 2020 starting at 5:30 pm. For meeting details and instructions on joining the meeting, see the official hearing notice at https://planning.lacity.org/odocument/68abfe3d-a372-419f-ab06-1e6d4dd11182/PublicHearing_Notice_HSO_Amendment.pdf
The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee will also discuss the proposed amendment at its monthly meeting tonight, May 26, at 6:30 p.m. The agenda for the online meeting is available here, and includes instructions for joining the meeting.
In the meantime, you can also submit written comments to [email protected] until July 10. After that date, written comments should be sent to the City Planning Commission at [email protected]. The proposed amendment is tentatively scheduled for consideration by the City Planning Commission on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
To receive future updates regarding the proposed amendment, sign up at http://bit.ly/DCPHomeSharing