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LA’s Airbnb rules: Hosts clash with hotel industry over 180-day cap

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The city is considering rules to restrict short-term rentals

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The Airbnb app.
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The city of Los Angeles is inching (very slowly) toward regulating Airbnb and other short-term rentals, with hundreds of people flocking Tuesday to City Hall to weigh in on draft rules that would limit hosts to renting their homes to just 180 days per year. According to KPCC:

Hundreds on Tuesday filled Los Angeles City Council chambers to its 350-person capacity, leading police to direct an overflow crowd to City Hall's south lawn, where a microphone at a podium had been set up for speakers.

They spoke passionately to members of the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee. Chairman Jose Huizar says the committee will meet again in July or August to vote on the rules. After it does, the City Council, which has the final say, will cast its vote.

Airbnb hosts are urging the city to ease the 180-day cap. “With all due respect, please do not make hasty restrictions that will adversely affect thousands of constituents and divert millions of dollars out of South Central Los Angeles’s community,” host Lynda Mitchell told the committee, according to the Daily News.

But union workers and the hotel industry say a cap is needed to protect hospitality jobs.

“Think about the people who work for housekeeping like my mother,” Yajayra Cerrato, 21, told the Daily News. “For those six months that you guys host ... is she going to be unemployed?”

The rules would also cap the number of rooms a host can rent out, and hosts would only be allowed to rent out their primary residences. Second dwelling units on single-family properties would be banned as would temporary structures, such as trailers and tents.

It’s not just the hotel industry that supports regulations. Others, including the advocacy group Coalition for Economic Survival, say short-term rentals are only making LA’s housing crisis worse. One way that happens? Landlords illegally turn their rental units into what are essentially hotel rooms, which takes sorely-needed units off the market and drives up the cost of rents.