Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

City Takes Fresh Aim at Short-Term Rentals


Short-term rentals, especially those promoted by websites such as AirBnB, have become both a citywide problem and an annoyance to many neighbors locally, as some landlords remove housing units from use as standard long-term rentals, and others buy multiple properties outright to use as short-term rentals, instead of long-term rentals or residences. The result is fewer available housing units, as well as decreased supervision of many properties and higher rates of transient tenants, who are often less careful with properties than long-term tenants or resident owners.

On Friday, the City Council Member Mike Bonin, along with City Council President Herb Wesson, proposed a new ordinance that would require short-term rental owners to register their properties, and would impose restrictions for the rentals of such properties and the percentage of the year they could be rented.  In a statement released Friday, Bonin said:

Under the proposed regulations, people who would like to offer their homes as short-term rentals would need to register as a host with the Department of City Planning, which would include signing up with the Department of Finance to pay Transient Occupancy Taxes to the City. Once registered, hosts would be required to include their registration number on all advertisements for the rental. This would prevent speculators from purchasing entire buildings, evicting tenants, and replacing scarce rental stock with de facto hotels.

Additionally, hosts would not be able to register properties that are under affordable housing covenants or the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, and hosts would only be allowed to register their primary residence for short-term rentals. Finally, hosts would only be allowed to rent their property for a maximum of 90 days a year.

Also, said the statement on Bonin’s website, the proposed ordinance would establish “clear guidelines” for true homesharing (renting out surplus space in a home occupied by its owner), and make it easier to tell whether short-term rentals are being legally conducted (which would also make city enforcement easier).  It would also help protect neighborhood character, make hosts “legally responsible for all nuisance violations by their guests,” carry misdemeanor penalties for violations, and limit short-term rentals to no more than 90 days per year for each unit.  

In addition, the ordinance would make short-term rental websites more accountable, requiring them to list city enforcement and reporting requirements, prevent listings without a city host registration number, and provide a monthly inventory of rentals in the city.

Public hearings on the proposed ordinance will begin on Saturday, May 21st at 10 a.m. at the Deaton Auditorium (100 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012). It will be considered by the City Planning Commission on June 23rd.

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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