Airbnb has thousands of unregistered listings in LA, city charges

The practice violates sweeping short-term rental ordinance passed last year, officials said

Brian Chesky (Credit: Kimberly White/Getty Images)
Brian Chesky (Credit: Kimberly White/Getty Images)

Thousands of Airbnb listings in Los Angeles were not registered, violating a sweeping ordinance the city passed last year to rein in short-term rentals.

As of early June, around 5,000 Airbnb listings did not have the necessary registration number, according to the Los Angeles Times. Another 1,000 listings on the platform were also out of compliance in some way, according to the report.

The short-term rental ordinance was meant to combat what had become a growing problem of multifamily landlords running their apartment buildings as de facto hotels. Landlords can often charge far more for a unit on a short-term basis than they can through a traditional lease.

The city ordinance limited hosts to renting all or part of their primary residences, meaning they aren’t allowed to rent out a secondary home or units in a multifamily building they own.

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A registration essentially certifies that a unit meets that requirement, as well as others.

The city has cited around 650 hosts for violating the law, and fined each $500. The city is allowed to fine hosts $500 per day for illegal listings, but has opted not to do so, according to the report.

Department of City Planning spokesperson Yeghig Keshishian said that the city doesn’t want to put “weeks” worth of fees on hosts, because the goal of the program is to protect rentals.

“At the end of the day, our goal has always been to resolve these problems and achieve compliance,” he said.

The city also hasn’t fined platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, which are liable for their listings under the ordinance. Airbnb agreed to develop a program to share data with the city and remove illegal listings last year, the report noted [LAT]Dennis Lynch