Last month, the city of Santa Monica adopted new, very strict regulations on short-term rentals like the ones you'd get on Airbnb (they completely barred full-unit rentals, among other things), and all eyes turned to Los Angeles, which has taken few steps to try and regulate or otherwise reign in the thousands of mostly illegal short-term rentals within its boundaries. Meanwhile, the problem has proliferated and Airbnbs are pushing out regular renters and pissing off neighbors. Now two Los Angeles City Councilmembers have proposed a motion that would legalize short-term rentals, but in a way that would prevent valuable housing units from being turned into quasi-hotels, says the LA Times.
The motion, put forth by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Herb Wesson, would allow people to rent out parts or even all of an apartment or house, for 30 days or less, so long as it's their primary residence. This way, actual individuals renting out their actual homes to make some extra cash could continue to do so, but "speculators" would be barred from "creating a syndicate of short term rental properties." (Airbnb had already dropped many of the biggest professional landlords from the site.) *Units that are covered by rent control would also be prohibited from becoming short-term rentals.
The motion also asks that people who let out part or all of their homes be required to pay the appropriate taxes (something LA's tried to do before, but without much teeth). These same councilmembers are also backing a proposed state law (SB 593) that would force Airbnb and other short-term rental businesses to share information about hosts with the city—addresses of short-term rentals, how often they have guests, and how much those guests pay—in order to help enforce taxation. Having addresses of vacation rentals in particular is key to taxing hosts, and has been a huge barrier in effectively trying to get short-term hosts to pony up.
· L.A. proposal would block Airbnb hosts from creating 'rogue hotels' [LAT]
· Can Airbnb Survive in LA Without Big Professional Landlords? [Curbed LA]
· Meet LA's Most Prolific Airbnb Host, With 78 Units For Rent [Curbed LA]
· LA Airbnb Landlords Going to Have to Start Paying Their Taxes [Curbed LA]