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The Real Deal Los Angeles

City officials vote to legalize bootleg apartments

Ordinance would require landlords to offer at least one rent-restricted unit
May 11, 2017 12:15PM

Los Angeles apartment buildings (Getty Images)

Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday that would legalize “bootlegged” residential units, dwellings created when landlords illegally convert single apartments into multiple units.

If landlords want to benefit from the relaxed rules, they must provide at least one additional rent-restricted unit and guarantee that it remain affordable for up to 55 years.

The ordinance is part of the city’s attempt to solve the issue of affordable housing, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

To qualify for legalization, a residential or mixed-use building with unapproved units must be in a multiple family zone of R2 or above. The owner must also show the unit existed before December 10, 2015 and that the building is free from other code violations.

City enforcement agencies identified 2,560 bootlegged units between 2010 and 2015. Of those, 1,765 were removed and 201 were legalized, according to a 2015 city report.[LABJ]Subrina Hudson