LA’s Airbnb hosts seek carveout for looming ban on renting out secondary homes

Starting next month, the city will only allow homeowners to rent out their primary residence

LA’s Airbnb ordinance complicates future for hosts (Credit: iStock)
LA’s Airbnb ordinance complicates future for hosts (Credit: iStock)

Home-sharing hosts in Los Angeles are organizing to secure a last-minute carveout before the city’s ordinance regulating the industry kicks in.

The ordinance, set to take effect Nov. 1, allows Angelenos to rent out only their primary residences. They’ll also have to register their units with the city and obtain permission to rent units for more than 120 days a year.

Homeshare Alliance Los Angeles now wants the city to allow some homeowners to rent out those secondary homes on websites like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO, according to the L.A. Times.

The rule is meant to stop investors from turning multifamily buildings into de facto hotels in an already housing-strapped city. But those who oppose the rule say it could harm people who rely on rental income from a secondary property. Homeshare Alliance wants the city to create a path toward legalizing those rentals.

“We support getting rid of commercial operators,” alliance leader Chani Krich told the Times. But added, “thousands of mom-and-pops need to be protected.”

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Supporters of the ban say that renting out secondary units takes housing off the market, units that could be rented by long-term residents.

City officials have previously brushed off requests from short-term rental platforms to postpone the ordinance altogether.

Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents neighborhoods popular with tourists, including Venice, called a carveout for vacation rentals “nothing short of a full-frontal assault” on the ordinance. He said it would be “great if those units were being rented by people who live permanently in Los Angeles,” according to the Times.

L.A. is one of the top destinations in the country for Airbnb users. Hosts took in $613 million last year. The ordinance is expected to significantly reduce that figure. [LAT]Dennis Lynch