SHERMAN OAKS—New regulations could be coming to the popular rental service Airbnb this week, impacting areas like Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica, Los Feliz and Hollywood.
A Los Angeles City Council Committee debated adding restrictions to all Airbnb rentals this week and are now postponing the topic until early November. Airbnb allows consumers to utilize an app to rent out their apartments or homes in short-term rentals. Opponents to the app have argued that it is leading to a shortage for Los Angeles natives. Hotel companies consider Airbnb to be a strong competitor and are vying for the regulations as well to the rental service.
There are currently no regulations set on how many days a person can rent out their home using the service. Airbnb does have to pay hotel taxes to the city of Los Angeles for their renters and the city is projected to make upwards of $33 million from these fees. The gain is expected to be cut if new regulations limiting rental services are put in place.
The current proposal places a 180-day per year rental limit on all listings. Many advocates of the proposal argue for fewer days, following other similar regulations adopted by other cities. The city of Santa Monica only permits 60 days of rentals for any home. Santa Monica has the strictest house-sharing regulations in Southern California because it is one of the few cities in the state to enforce them, the Los Angeles Times reported. In 2015, the Santa Monica City Council voted to enforce pre-existing short-term rental laws, and they were put into effect June that year.
These regulations indicate that it is illegal to rent a unit for less than 30 days, one of the toughest laws against short-term rentals in the nation. Home-sharers must buy a license and pay Santa Monica’s 14 percent transient occupancy tax and are only allowed to rent space in their primary residences.
Airbnb pointed to a Los Angeles Economic Development Cooperation report that stated that Los Angeles would receive about $600 million in revenue from the rental platform.
The loss of the rentals could lead to reduced tourism and a decrease in revenue from hotel taxes. Other neighborhoods potentially affected by the changes include Hollywood, Los Feliz, Venice, Echo Park and Beverly Grove.
Written By George Morris and Vanessa Arrendondo