DISTRICT 4 Press Releases
Joint Letter from Councilmembers Raman and Yaroslavsky Urging Improved Home Sharing Ordinance Enforcement
February 6, 2023
Mr. Vince Bertoni, Director of Planning, Los Angeles City Planning
200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mr. Osama Younan, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
201 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ms. Hydee Feldstein Soto, City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney
200 N. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ms. Ann Sewill, General Manager, Los Angeles Housing Department
1200 W. 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Mr. Michel Moore, Chief of Police, Los Angeles Police Department
100 W. 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dear Mr. Bertoni, Mr. Younan, Ms. Soto, Ms. Sewill, and Mr. Moore,
Our offices are coming together to request the prioritization of improving enforcement of the Home Sharing Ordinance (HSO). Since the HSO was passed, the Departments of City Planning, Housing, Building and Safety, Police, and the City Attorney’s Office have made significant progress in cracking down on non-compliant listings and removing thousands of non-compliant properties or bad actors from hosting platforms. However, the process of removing listings and enforcing fines can be lengthy and cumbersome, particularly when dealing with chronic bad actors and incidents of violent crime.
The consequences of insufficient enforcement are significant. Public safety is impacted. On January 28, 2023, three people were killed and four wounded outside of a short-term rental in Benedict Canyon. Last year, a shooting occurred outside a short-term rental in Studio City after what was described in news reports as an out-of-control party, and another individual was shot and killed at a short-term rental in Encino. There are many more incidents of a similar nature at short-term rental locations across the city.
Short-term rentals also have destabilizing effects in communities by removing units from the long-term rental housing market – especially rent-stabilized units – facilitating unauthorized commercial activities, and creating quality-of-life issues for neighbors related to noise and parking. While we sincerely appreciate your diligence in dealing with infringements with the resources available, we believe that more can be done.
Most recently, the Council asked for reports on improving enforcement that have not yet been provided. Council File 14-1635-S10, which focuses on improving the process of enforcement overall, was introduced in August 2021, and passed in April 2022. Additionally, Council File 14-1635-S11, which asks for swift action when there are incidents of violence, was passed in January 2022. We urgently request that you provide reports with clear and vigorous recommendations and next steps.
Other cities have been able to curb bad actors through aggressive monitoring and enforcement. For example, Portland has a map of all registered short-term rentals and requires that hosts occupy their dwelling unit for at least 270 days during each calendar year and send a letter to their neighbors and submit proof of that letter with their home-sharing application. Inglewood requires that the owner of the short-term rental be a natural person. San Francisco has a dedicated Office of Short-Term Rentals responsible for administering enforcement which also runs a centralized website to file complaints as guests or about potential illegal hosting activities. New Orleans has a public database of current, expired, and revoked permits. In Seattle, all hosting platforms have to submit quarterly reports. Toronto’s enforcement targets ghost hotels and houses, defined as properties with no primary residents being used as full-time short-term operations. Santa Monica has a Private Right of Action option for individual enforcement.
It is crucial to learn from these cities and to update our existing policy as needed and as soon as possible. As elected officials, we want to ensure that your respective departments are provided the necessary discretion, direction, resources, and tools to effectively and expeditiously address dangerous situations and other violations and improper abuses of the City’s Home Sharing Ordinance.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Councilmember, 4th Council District
City of Los Angeles
Councilmember, 5th Council District
City of Los Angeles