When the city of Los Angeles started to look into ways to regulate the “sharing economy” several years ago, the number of dwellings for rent on Airbnb , the leading short-term rental website, was in the low thousands. Today, there are about 23,000, with many more on VRBO, TripAdvisor and other vacation rental sites. And the city is still trying to figure out how to balance the benefits and problems created when people turn their homes into hotels.
This week the City Council will begin considering a proposed ordinance that would legalize and regulate home sharing. That’s right — despite the popularity and proliferation of short-term rentals, they are illegal in Los Angeles’ residential neighborhoods. It’s just been extraordinarily difficult to enforce the prohibition.
As the number of short-term rentals has grown, so have the nuisance complaints from neighbors frustrated with parties, noise and the churn of guests. There is also concern among city officials and housing advocates that short-term rentals (those less than 30 days) are taking long-term rentals off the market, worsening the city’s housing crisis. Landlords in touristy neighborhoods may […]