The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday is expected to vote on whether to place new regulations on short-term rentals located in unincorporated areas.
The board will look to amend county code regarding businesses licenses, which regulates short-term rentals. If approved, hosts with Airbnb or Vacation Rentals By Owner, VRBO, would be required to register and pay a fee of $914 on an annual basis.
The county would also restrict short-term rentals to a host’s primary residents — prohibiting the use of accessory dwelling units, rent-restricted primary residences and vacation rentals for short-term rental use.
Additionally, the county would place restrictions on the number of guests, length of stay and types of events for short-term rentals. Companies like Airbnb and VRBO would be required to comply with the new regulations, and establish an enforcement and appeals process for customers who fail to abide by these new rules.
The move comes as a result of board action taken on March 19, 2019. Supervisors directed staff members to prepare a package of ordinances that would enhance regulations of short-term rentals in the county’s unincorporated areas.
According to a report from the county’s Treasurer and Tax Collector, the proposed registration program aims to strike a balance between ensuring homeowners can list their properties as short-term rentals and the preservation of long-term housing stock, as well as protecting the quality of life in neighborhoods.
The $914 fee was decided upon based on full cost recovery, including administration and enforcement of the program, salaries, employee benefits, indirect costs, services and supplies.
L.A. County would use $1 million from the adopted 2023-24 budget to cover costs associated with the registration program. An additional $1.7 million is set aside for year two, but moving forward the fees are expected to cover ongoing costs.
County officials have met with the community in person and through webinars on the proposed registration program since August 2020. About 1,500 community members, many of whom were property owners and representatives from their respective neighborhood town councils in the unincorporated areas, attended some 31 outreach events.
Several individuals and organizations wrote to county officials either expressing their support or opposition to the proposed changes on short-term rentals.
Alan Zorthian said he was “firmly opposed” to any further restrictions on short-term rentals in his correspondence with the board.
He added that the proposed restrictions would actually harm the integrity of many neighborhoods, as property owners use the revenue from Airbnb as means to pay their bills.
Maria Patino Guiterrez, a resident of the First District, urged the supervisors to move forward with the regulations because residents in the unincorporated areas have “virtually no form of relief form the impacts of short-term rentals.”
Groups such as Better Neighbors LA, Strategic Actions for Just Economy, Unite Here! Local 11, Coalition for Economic Survival are just some of several organizations that support the new changes to short term rentals in the unincorporated parts of the county.