LA unlocks door for Airbnb: Council approves home-sharing with restrictions

Regulations allow hosts to only rent out their primary residences and will bar rentals of investment properties or second homes

Dec.December 12, 2018 09:00 AM
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Los Angeles City Hall (Credit: Getty Images)

The Los Angeles City Council approved new rules regulating short-term rentals such as Airbnbs nearly four years after regulations were first proposed.

The new law, which legalizes short-term rentals with key restrictions, will take effect in July, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It will allow hosts to only rent out their primary residences and bar rentals of investment properties or second homes. The measures also establish a soft cap that allows a host to rent up to 120 days per year. Those regulations are meant to prevent landlords from renting out much-needed housing in the city as de facto hotels at high rates.

Hosts can exceed that if they do not receive multiple violations from the city or can successfully argue that exceeding the limit will not hurt the neighborhood, according to the Times. Hosts cannot rent out rent-stabilized apartments or units designated as affordable.

Until now, short-term rentals have been technically illegal citywide, but the city has done little to enforce the restrictions, so in practice hosts have been free to use platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway without much hassle.

There are nearly 19,000 homes and rooms listed within city limits on Airbnb and 65 percent of them are entire homes. The new restrictions on renting second homes and investment properties could cut down those listings.

The Council first approved a draft version of the ordinance in May.

Other cities in the L.A. area have passed much more restrictive ordinances governing short-term rentals, including Santa Monica. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch

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