Airbnb to LA: Please don’t start enforcing new law on Nov. 1

With a Nov. 1 enforcement date looming, platforms say they need more time to comply

Oct.October 01, 2019 11:00 AM
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky say they need a delay (Credit: Getty Images)
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky say they need a delay (Credit: Getty Images)

Short-term rental companies including Airbnb are asking the city of Los Angeles to postpone a looming date to enforce its restrictive short-term rental ordinance.

Enforcement is slated to start on November 1, but Airbnb and HomeAway say they need more time to put together a computerized system to comply with the ordinance, according to the L.A. Times. The ordinance requires short-term rental platforms to regularly share information about listings with the city to assist enforcement.

The ordinance limits short-term rental hosts to renting out rooms or properties they actively occupy. It also limits them to renting those rooms or homes for no more than 120 days per year, although there are ways to exceed that limit.

Hosts have to register with the city and the platforms themselves must ensure that their hosts are registered.

Airbnb vigorously fought the ordinance, but the City Council passed it late last year. Ordinances in other cities have proven an issue for Airbnb. Listings dropped 17 percent in Santa Monica in the year after the city instituted a restrictive ordinance.

The LA ordinance went into effect in July, but the city has allowed a grace period for enforcement. Airbnb said that the city didn’t share crucial information needed to inform its system until August.

Department of City Planning spokesperson Yeghig Kesishian said the city is “prepared to enforce the ordinance come Nov. 1,” and said that Airbnb and other platforms can also share information via a spreadsheet while they built the system.

Airbnb said in its letter requesting the postponement that it would be an “excessive burden” to do so while building its computerized system. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch

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