WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood’s Department Of Public Works is looking to impose stricter fines for short-term rentals. According to a report from the West Hollywood City Council, the public doesn’t believe that the current fines are “high enough to serve as a true deterrent, especially to those that are renting entire houses for $500.00 or more per night.”
The current fines are $250 for the first violation, $450 for the second violation, and $850 for the third. Fourth violations will result in a sentence of a misdemeanor. Instead of raising fines, the Department of Public Works wants to implement a flat percentage of the advertised rate.
The report indicates the first citation would increase 200 percent, the second 300 percent, and the third by 400 percent. According to the report, Airbnb’s average rate for short term rentals is $140 per night. The report indicates that the first average citation would $330.00 which is 200 percent of the advertised rate plus administrative fees.
City Council has adopted a two-tiered fine schedule for instances where short-term rentals don’t have an advertised rate. The current ordinance is that the city prohibits the advertising and renting of any residence or part of residence for any period of time less than 30 days.
According to the report, city staffers now look for listings on properties using websites such as Airbnb, Flipkey and many more. According to Wehoville.com, the department is against a proposal that would make short-term rentals allowed during holidays or major events such as LA Pride, and Halloween Carnaval. The report indicates that those rentals could be used for parties that would upset neighbors. Complaints are filed via PublicStuff, the City’s mobile app. There has been 158 complaints. There has been 170 Code Compliance cases that has been opened. Twenty-eight of these cases have been closed due to the owners complying with the rules.
Code Compliance responds to complaints than contacting violators. Due to complaints from residents, Code Compliance uses some websites such as Airbnb, Social Media, LA County Assessors to now locate violators.
Joshua Schare, Public Information Officer for the city of West Hollywood indicated to Canyon News that the City Council meeting is schedule to take place “this evening [Monday].”
The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. Parking will be available in the five story structure behind the building and is free with a validated ticket from the chamber lobby.