For Immediate Release: April 28, 2022
CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS COUNCILMEMBER RAMAN’S HOME-SHARING ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT MOTION
LOS ANGELES -- Today, the LA City Council voted to adopt a motion (Council File 14-1635) from Councilmember Nithya Raman aimed at enforcing the Home-Sharing Ordinance passed by City Council in 2018. Identifying and citing unpermitted and non-compliant home sharing operations has posed a challenge for the City since the ordinance’s adoption; the motion, co-presented by Councilmembers Bonin, Blumenfield, and Koretz, aims to determine mechanisms and models the City can implement for more effective enforcement, including the creation of a publicly available digital database with information about properties with home sharing licenses. .
“In our City, we cannot afford the consequences of losing any more affordable housing units from a supply that is already in a desperate deficiency,” said Councilmember Raman. “Failing to fully and adequately enforce the Home-Sharing Ordinance means we are losing housing, subjecting tenants to displacement pressure, and inviting major nuisance and quality of life issues into our communities. Today’s vote is an essential step in our ongoing efforts to stabilize and protect our neighborhoods.”
The motion requires the Department of City Planning, with the assistance of the Department of Building & Safety, LA Housing Department, and other City departments, to provide an report within 90 days with recommendations on how to better identify unpermitted listings and cite non-compliant properties and on the creation of a dedicated unit, office, or department that would consolidate the various aspects of home-sharing compliance and enforcement in one multidisciplinary team.
“We passed short-term rental regulations in LA to prevent property owners from converting homes for Angelenos into rogue hotels, but enforcement is so lax that operators and platforms are violating the law and worsening our affordable housing crisis,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, co-author of the City’s 2018 Home Sharing Ordinance. “We are hemorrhaging valuable rental stock, and it needs to stop.”
Existing home-sharing regulatory and enforcement models in cities including Austin, New Orleans, and San Francisco have proven to be successful; the motion further directs the Departments to consider these models in their analysis.
“On top of grappling with out of control parties and violent crimes at short term rentals, we have serious concerns about violations of the Home-Sharing Ordinance such as the illegal conversion of our critical affordable housing stock, hosts engaging in commercial activity, and renting out homes that are not a primary residence,” said Councilmember Koretz. “In fact, we see any number of violations of the Home-Sharing Ordinance every day in my district, and we need to take a serious look at the program and the mechanisms and resources required to effectively enforce the ordinance.”
The motion additionally requests that the Department of Planning report back within 90 days with a plan for the creation of a centralized digital database of non-compliant properties that is regularly updated to better coordinate data tracking of non-compliant properties and enhance enforcement capabilities.
“Unfortunately, too many participants in the City’s short term rental program are breaking the rules and not being penalized, perpetuating a broken system that is negatively impacting our City,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.“Collaboration between departments is vital to make sure that enforcement of this program is improved and thanks to my colleagues for supporting this extremely important and necessary policy.”
James Elmendorf of Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) stated, “LA's Home Sharing Ordinance is state of the art, but enforcing that ordinance still lags far behind, and the consequence is our housing crisis gets worse every day. We need aggressive, creative efforts to stop the platforms and landlords that keep breaking the law. Thanks to Councilmembers Raman, Bonin, Blumenfield, and Koretz, and Council President Martinez for their leadership to make sure that happens.”
Finally, the motion instructs the Department of Planning to create a publicly accessible online database or platform within 90 days, where the public can view whether any property in the City has a Home-Sharing License, a Home-Sharing License Renewal, or an Extended Home-Sharing License.
“Without effective enforcement, the original intent of the short-term rental ordinance - to limit vacation rentals to primary residences - gets lost,” stated Ellen Evans, President of the Doheny Sunset Plaza Neighborhood Association. “Investors buy up homes to turn them into short-term rentals, taking residential properties off the market. We are grateful for the work that has gone into righting this situation, and for the commitment of Councilmember Raman to creating a path forward.”