A Christmas miracle? LA may loosen key Airbnb restriction

Proposal would allow short stays at secondary residences

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Dec.December 24, 2019 12:45 PM
Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky in front of Los Angeles city hall (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)
Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky in front of Los Angeles city hall (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Just in time for the holidays, Los Angeles may reverse a key element to its recently-adopted ordinance restricting Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms.

The citywide ordinance, which took effect Nov. 1, bans short-term hosts from renting multiple residences. On Friday, the Planning Commission voted to allow a host to rent out a secondary residence, which the city defines as a “vacation home,” according to Curbed.

But the proposal would also place limits on renting out those secondary residences. Those units could only be rented out for up to 90 days a year and short-term stays would be not allowed at rent-controlled buildings, Curbed reported. Also, the number of secondary residences be rented out could not exceed 1 percent of L.A.’s housing stock.

The city said the move was an attempt to balance concerns that home-share platforms deplete the housing stock with worries the crackdown is depriving some Angelenos of their ability to earn a living.

Regulatory enforcement also appears to be an issue, according to Curbed. In the nearly two months since the ordinance took effect, there has been only a “minimal reduction” in listings that violate the new rules, according to a McGill University study. The study was paid for by Pasadena-based law firm Hadsell Stormer & Renick.

That study questions whether the city is able to enforce its ordinance and provides examples of people still on the Airbnb platform who are renting out multiple residences. L.A. officials said they are issuing warning letters to short-term rental hosts who violate the new law, and plan to issue fines in 2020. [Curbed] — Matthew Blake


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