New Short-Term Rental Rules Now in Effect; Enforcement Begins November 1

Since we at the Buzz receive inquiries every now and then from neighbors who are concerned about short-term rental/home-sharing/AirBnB/VRBO activity in their neighborhoods (and sometimes in their own apartment buildings), it seems like a good time to remind everyone that, yes, the city’s new short-term rental ordinance, passed by the City Council in December, 2018, did go into effect on July 1.  And while there will be a four-month period during which hosts can register their rental units for legal rental activity, and rental platforms can register to legally provide rental listings, enforcement of the new rules will begin in earnest on November 1.

So…given that we’re already one month into the four-month sign-up period, here’s what you need to know as either a host, guest or neighbor of a short-term rental property in Los Angeles, as explained on the city’s new short-term rental portal and in its handy-dandy FAQ about the new home sharing ordinance:

BASIC RULES

  • Hosts may only rent spaces in their primary residences (where they live for at least six months of the year); they may not rent units in which no one lives full-time
  • Hosts may list more than one room for rent in their residence, but they may only rent to one set of guests at a time
  • Hosts are limited to only 120 days per year of short-term rentals under “standard” home-sharing rules…or up to 365 days with special approval for “extended home-sharing” (see below)
  • All short-term rental hosts must register their units at the city’s online portal before November 1.
  • Legally registered units will receive a registration number
  • Registration numbers must displayed in all ads for the rental
  • Rental listings may only be posted on approved hosting platforms, listed in the registration application, where registration numbers will be monitored for validity
  • There can be no rentals for commercial parties or events
  • Hosts must ensure that basic health and safety features are provided (e.g. fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors)
  • Hosts must not allow late night outdoor parties
  • Hosts must adhere to city occupancy limits, which specify a maximum of two persons (excluding children) per habitable room
  • Hosts must provide a Code of Conduct (available on the city website) to all guests
  • Renters can only rent space in their units with written permission of the landlord
  • No short-term rentals in rent-controlled units (those covered by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO)), which includes most rental units built before 1978)
  • All rentals must be in habitable housing units only (i.e. rooms or full homes;  there can be “no rentals of vehicles parked on the property, storage sheds, trailers, temporary structures or other structures not built for residential use”)

BASIC REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR HOSTS

If you want to register a unit for short-term rentals, here’s what you’ll need for the application:

  • A valid state- or federally-issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card or passport)
  • Location of the short-term rental unit
  • Specification of which rental platform the listing will be advertised on
  • Verification that the unit is your primary residence (e.g. the address on your ID must either match the address of the rental unit…or, if those addresses don’t match,  the rental unit address must appear on two of the following: a current valid California voter’s registration card or voter registration status, current vehicle registration certificate, recent health insurance bill, recent vehicle insurance bill, paycheck or pay stub issued in the last six months, property tax bill indicating a homeowner’s exemption, or a current rental or lease agreement (including landlord’s contact info and signature…and the landlord’s approval of the short-term rental activity).

EXTENDED HOME-SHARING REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for rental activity beyond the basic 120-day limit on short-term rentals, you must also register for “Extended Home-Sharing,” which requires that hosts…

  • Meet all the basic requirements above
  • Have maintained a valid standard home-sharing registration for at least six months, or have hosted for at least 60 days.
  • Notify adjacent and abutting owners and occupants
  • Have no suspensions or revocations of short-term rental privileges in the last two years
  • Have no more than one citation issued in the last three years  (If you have had more than one citation, you can submit an application for a more detailed discretionary review, which may require a public hearing.)

COMPLAINTS

Anyone who has concerns or complaints about short-term rental activity can call the city’s short-term rental hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (213) 267-7788.  You can also contact the city through its other code enforcement and complaint systems…such as 311 (or the MyLA311 app), and the online complaint reporting systems for the LA Department of Building and Safety and the LA Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA), which oversees residential rental activities.

ENFORCEMENT

According to the links above, when complaints are received, city staff will “provide real-time outreach to hosts to help resolve issues, or forward them to the relevant City agency for further investigation.”

If rental listings are found without a valid registration number, the city will issue an initial violation notice, and “the non-permitted activity must cease within a specified time or else a citation will be issued, including possible fines.”

Also, according to the city FAQ, “Hosting platforms will also be required to provide information to assist in the enforcement and removal of illegal listings. Additionally, both hosting platforms and hosts will be asked to maintain and provide written logs of all home-sharing activity.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION…

…see the portal and FAQ links above, or contact:

Home-Sharing Unit
Department of City Planning – Development Services Center
201 N. Figueroa Street, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 202-5464

24/7 Hotline: (213) 267-7788

planning.home-sharing@lacity.org
http://www.planning.lacity.org/HomeSharingOrdinance

 

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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