New Airbnb Rules Are Now in Effect, What Does That Mean for You?

By MICHELE BARNUM | Special to the Palisadian-Post

As of July 1, new home-sharing regulations are in place for the city of Los Angeles and Pacific Palisades, changing the way hosts from Airbnb and other rental platforms can book vacation stays and short-term rentals.

The new rules, which were passed in December 2018 after three years of deliberation by the City Council, are the city’s first attempt to regulate LA’s short-term rentals. There is much controversy about the regulations; some advocates claim they are taking affordable units off the market and worsening the housing crisis while others say they are helping the housing crisis by creating more permanent options.

About 23,000 housing units are available for rent in the city of LA on short-term rental platforms, with about 10,000 units primarily used for short-term rentals, according to Host Compliance LLC, a company that monitors short-term rental platforms.

On Airbnb, there are currently more than two dozen homes available in Pacific Palisades, and on VRBO, there are over 35 listings, ranging from small cottages to six-bedroom luxury homes priced from $260 per night to over $2,000 per night.

As of July 1, hosts were required to register and pay an $89 fee to the city. The new rules make it so a host can only register one property with the city at a time and the property has to be their primary residence (where they live at least six months of the year).

Among the new rules, non-residential buildings and temporary structures are not eligible for home-sharing; that includes vehicles parked on the property like Airstreams as well as yurts, tents, etc.

Additionally, hosts are responsible for providing a Code of Conduct to all guests with rules about amplified sound and “evening outdoor congregations.” Therefore, amplified sound is not permitted after 10 p.m. and no evening outdoor congregations of more than eight people are permitted. The host may be responsible for any nuisance violations, which occur at the property, even if they are committed by guests.

Individuals who engage in or advertise short-term rental activity on or after November 1, 2019, without an approved registration number will be in violation of the Home-Sharing Ordinance, but a key issue with the ordinance is the question of enforcement.

While the rules claim to hold platforms like Airbnb accountable for hosts that exceed the 120-day limit, it is not clear whether sites like Airbnb are willing—or legally required—to share that information with the city.

The new rules have already been contested by the California Coastal Commission, which regulates hotels and other rental properties in designated coastal areas, and there are threats of lawsuits.

Given the new regulations, if you are thinking of renting out your property on one of these platforms, you should read the FAQs from the city and be aware of the rules: planning.lacity.org/ordinances/docs/HomeSharing/adopted/FAQ.pdf.

Michele Barnum is a member of The Marguleas Team of Amalfi Estates. Michele truly believes in giving back to his community and gives back 10% of her commission from each sale among five charities, Make-a-Wish, SPCA-LA, American Cancer Society, Path, which helps homelessness, and Homeboy Industries. The team has been fortunate to have donated $800,000 since 2014. Michele can be reached on her cell at 310-804-7054 or michele@amalfiestates.com.