LA’s new Airbnb rules may price out some short-term renters in beach towns

Opponents of the new law say it will put towns like Venice out of reach for renters

Airbnb's Brian Chesky and Mike Bonin, LA city councilman for Venice
Airbnb's Brian Chesky and Mike Bonin, LA city councilman for Venice

Los Angeles’ new short-term rental regulations go into effect next month, but questions remain about enforcement in coastal areas like Venice — one of the most popular neighborhoods for the Airbnb-type rentals.

The new law is supposed to prevent bad actors from converting apartments into illegitimate hotels for an endless supply of visitors. It restricts Angelenos from renting out second homes or investment properties. But opponents argue that the city failed to coordinate with the California Coastal Commission, and they are preparing a lawsuit to stop the new law, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Home-sharing platforms battled the city of Santa Monica for years over its tough enforcement measures. The city eventually prevailed in federal court, and those laws have cut down the number of short-term listings there.

In Venice, the commission warned that banning such home-share rentals in coastal areas could violate the Coastal Act, because it would put vacations out of financial reach for some, and could hurt neighborhoods economically.

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Coastal Commission spokeswoman Noaki Schwartz told the Times the rules are not enforceable in coastal zones without Coastal Act authorization, which L.A. has not obtained. Another option is to incorporate regulations into a Local Coastal Program, which the city is still working on.

A similar battle happened in Hermosa Beach, where opponents filed a lawsuit using the Coastal Act. But an appellate court decided it did not fall under the Coastal Commission’s authority.

But similar restrictions were halted in Santa Barbara, when a judge ruled they weren’t in line with the state law. [LAT]Gregory Cornfield