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    HomeNewsWest Hollywood Planning Commission to Consider Amendments to Vacation Rental Ordinance

    West Hollywood Planning Commission to Consider Amendments to Vacation Rental Ordinance

    The City of West Hollywood has some of the strongest short-term rental regulations in the state. Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., the West Hollywood Planning Commission will be hearing some amendments to its vacation rental ordinance that are intended to improve the City’s ability to enforce its strong ordinance.

    The City’s vacation-rental and home-sharing ordinances together completely ban un-hosted Short Term Rentals (STR) and only allow hosted rentals in owner-occupied properties. According to Better Neighbors Los Angeles, hundreds of un-hosted short-term rentals are advertised in the city every day. The City has struggled to adequately enforce the regulations, leaving residents impacted by illegal STRs without reprimand.

    “Meanwhile, short-term rental hosts in the City of Los Angeles have started to falsely advertise the location of STR properties as being located in West Hollywood to avoid detection by Los Angeles enforcement agencies,” reads an email alerting the community of the upcoming meeting. “Because the Los Angeles Planning Department does not monitor listings which purport to be outside city limits, hosts who misrepresent the unit’s location online are able to illegally list rent-controlled properties without facing enforcement. This tactic further contributes to West Hollywood’s ability to enforce their ordinance because they have to decipher which short-term rental listings are actually located in West Hollywood.”

    The amendments being considered by the Commission tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. intend to address this bait and switch problem. The proposed amendments include:

    1. Expand the definition of prohibitions on advertisements to include individuals who falsely advertise a vacation rental within the City, but where the actual unit is located outside the City.

    2. Impose liability to hosting platforms that complete booking transactions for vacation rentals within the City.

    3. Expand and clarify that enforcement options include, but are not limited to, administrative penalties, and civil and criminal prosecution.

    4. Establish that persons who violate the Section are responsible for reimbursing the City and any law enforcement agencies for investigation costs and requiring retro payment on all Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).

    5. Create a private right of action for individuals to sue hosts in violation of the ordinance.

    6. Authorize administrative subpoenas to ensure compliance.”

    If these amendments are approved by the Commission, they will be considered by the City Council this summer. In the meantime, the City should strive to enforce the vacation rental ordinance as it stands.

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    Better Neighbors Los Angeles is a coalition of Southern California tenants, housing activists, hotel workers and community members. Our original mission was to support effective enforcement of the City of Los Angeles’s Home Sharing Ordinance, which was passed in 2018 to strike a balance between preserving housing, protecting neighborhood character and bolstering good jobs while fostering true home-sharing. Given the explosive growth of short-term rentals throughout the region over the past five years, our focus has expanded to other jurisdictions across Southern California, including West Hollywood.

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