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Airbnb and other short-term rentals will likely soon be regulated in LA

Written by
Brittany Martin

Renting a house or spare room can make for an awesome vacation stay, but in LA, where the demand for housing is super tight, the strain is only getting worse as some landlords have taken to putting units up on Airbnb rather than renting them to residential tenants. The situation has gotten bad enough that, as the LA Times reported earlier this week, the city attorney’s office has even brought criminal charges against one building owner caught booting out rent-controlled tenants in favor of hosting through Airbnb. 

Up until now, the rules around privately renting out your space has been something of a legal grey area, but the Planning Commission passed a vote yesterday to set down official rules.

Curbed LA has a break-down of some of the key points, which includes a cap of 180 days out of the year that a space can be rented for short-term use, the requirement that hosts obtain a permit and pay taxes on their income, and a prohibition on short-term rentals of rent-controlled or affordable housing units. 

If passed by the City Council, these rules would mean that, for the first time, renting out a unit on Airbnb is legal in LA. Previously, renting a unit for less than 30 days was technically illegal, if only sporadically enforced. If passed, as long as you’re following the rules and the space is up to code—and if you’re a renter yourself, you’ll also need a document showing “explicit approval” by your landlord for you to sublease—your Airbnb side-hustle will be able to come out of the shadows because it will now be a fully legit business under the law.

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