The Real Deal Los Angeles

Planning Commission voted in support of reining in Airbnb

LA is now a big step closer to imposing strict guidelines on short-term rentals
June 24, 2016 08:30AM

Attendees from last month's Airbnb forum (credit: Roy Samaan)

Attendees from Saturday’s forum (credit: Roy Samaan)

Bad news for Airbnb: The Los Angeles City Planning Commission approved Thursday a draft of regulations for short-term rental services that would impose fines and time limits for listings.

The proposal will now make its way to the City Council, which will vote on it later this summer.

Under the proposed rules, Airbnb users cannot rent out their homes or a room within their homes for longer than 90 days annually. They can only list, period, if they register it with the government. Hosts will also have to pay the city’s 14 percent hotel tax. Those who don’t abide by the rules would face fine of up to $2,000 per day past the three-month limit and $200 per day for posting an unregistered listing.

The vote was close — five to four, the L.A. Business Journal reported.

Tensions ran high leading up to the vote, with platforms like Airbnb and their hosts on one side, and housing advocates on the other.

Property owners, some of whom say they financially depend on renting out rooms, argue that the regulations will unfairly prevent them from earning a livelihood. Meanwhile, their neighbors object to the the disruptions that tourists bring to their neighborhoods.

Affordable housing advocates have also criticized short-term rental sites for allowing landlords to take units off the already strained rental market.

“[The] proposal is a step backward, putting consumer privacy at great risk by requiring online platforms to give the government unfettered access to confidential user data without any idea of how that information would be used,” Airbnb told The Real Deal in a statement last month.

Just last week, a bill was passed in New York to make it illegal for hosts to rent entire apartments less than 30 days, effectively gutting how some property owners use the platform.  [LABJ]Cathaleen Chen