New regulations for vacation rentals in the city of Los Angeles take effect today, with an online portal for hosts to register for a home-sharing permit going live.
Last December, Los Angeles passed a set of rules to regulate home sharing to rein in the use of vacation rental marketplaces like Airbnb and HomeAway amid a growing housing crisis.
The regulations, which legalized home-sharing in L.A. for the first time, allow only primary homes to be rented. They also place a 120-day cap on the amount of time a unit can be rented, as well as forbid the rental of rent-stabilized or affordable units.
The regulations also require hosts to register for a permit from the Department of City Planning and to provide the city with a list of sites where their unit is advertised. Beginning July 1, existing hosts have 120 days to register their rentals. New hosts must apply for a permit before advertising or renting out their units.
A host who wants to rent his or her unit for more than 120 days a year must receive a special permit, and renters need signed permission from their landlord to host.
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 unclear whether sites like Airbnb are willing, or legally required, to share that information with the city.
While there is strong support for regulating short-term rentals, critics believe that the rules favor homeowners over renters and will make short-term rental stays more expensive.