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Operating an Airbnb under the LA Home Sharing Ordinance

la home sharing ordinance 2020

 

As you’ve probably heard, the city of Los Angeles recently passed a home sharing ordinance designed to crack down on short-term home rentals in the LA area. Proponents of the ordinance have argued that short-term rental properties have contributed to the housing crisis in LA, making it difficult for long-term residents to find housing. 

Unfortunately, the ordinance has also made it much more difficult for vacation rental hosts in the Los Angeles area to see a return on their investment. Here’s what you need to know about operating an Airbnb under the new home sharing ordinance. 

What’s changing under the home share ordinance?

Hosts can now only list one rental property in the area and it must be their primary residence. This is supposed to crack down on landlords who rent out entire apartment buildings to vacation-goers, eliminating those units as a place for residents to potentially live. A host must live in the property for at least six months out of the year for it to qualify as a primary residence. 

There is also a limit to the number of times hosts can rent their residences out each year: 120 days. Once a host has rented their residence for 60 days or has been registered with the city for 6 months, they qualify to apply for an extended home-sharing option. For an $850 fee, you’ll be able to rent out your home year-round. 

In addition, short-term rentals will no longer be allowed in rent-controlled properties. All guests must adhere to a code of conduct, including quiet hours after 10 pm. If you are a tenant renting out your landlord’s property, you will need written permission from the landlord.

How can I register?

You must register your vacation rental properties through the Los Angeles City Planning online portal, which you can access here. You will need proof of primary residency when you do so.

Is the city enforcing these rules?

Yes. While some details of the LA home sharing ordinance might continue to change, hosts are already reporting that they’ve been contacted by the city. If your listing is in violation of the new ordinance, you will be notified, at which point you’ll have 30 days to bring your listing into compliance. If you do not, you’ll face a fine. 

What else do I need to know?

While enforcement is beginning, the ordinance, to some degree, is still in flux. Platforms like Airbnb have been pushing back against the ordinance which will hopefully result in more leeway for hosts over time. The best thing you can do is to sign up for the official newsletter in order to keep up with the latest developments. 

 

While this ordinance might put a damper on business for hosts in the LA area, it’s just one way the landscape is evolving to deal with the rise of short-term rentals. Without a doubt, other cities are sure to see similar ordinances in the future as well. The most important thing you can do as a host is to remain adaptable and be informed in order to stay on the right side of the law.

 

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