New restrictions on Airbnb and similar services in Los Angeles went into effect this week, 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 6,000 to 10,000 units that otherwise probably would have been rented to long-term tenants were being used primarily as short-term rentals.
Vacation rental websites make it easy for property owners to rent out their own homes, offering unique lodging to tourists at rates sometimes cheaper than hotels. But after years of debate, the city in December placed restrictions on what 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 Monday.
What’s not allowed
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, although there are exceptions to that rule.
When registering with the city, a host’s address on a federal or state-issued photo ID must match the address used for home-sharing. Therefore, homeowners can register only one home-sharing 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 spaces in nonresidential 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.
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