The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday approved creating a citywide pilot program to allow owners who live on-site at their rent-stabilized complexes to book their personal unit for homesharing.

The City Attorney’s Office and the Department of City Planning will provide recommendations for the program going forward, including enforcement and budgetary issues, which will be brought back to the council for consideration in the near future. Rent-stabilized units are currently prohibited from being used for homesharing.

City staff said they would work with the Housing and Community Investment Department to ensure the properties are owner-occupied, as Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said she doesn’t want RSO units to be subject to a system that “we don’t have the mechanisms of enforcing.”

“My concern is we’re adopting a policy without an enforcement mechanism,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez asked the staff to provide a report in 30 days on enforcement of the program.

Councilman Gilbert Cedillo has another proposal that’s still being mulled by the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, which would allow for owners of RSO apartment buildings to conduct homesharing in units they own but are not their primary residence.

“We’ve seen not dozens but large parts of the population who are struggling,” Cedillo said. “There’s a need for us to design a policy that encompasses every reality and not just those that threaten the hotel industry.”

Cedillo said last week that his proposal to allow for RSO homesharing was intended to give people who rent out those units a helping hand, mostly those who are caring for family members and other burdens.

“Some people are leaving their jobs and counting on this rent. Some people are staying at home and counting on this flexibility for a narrow circumstance,” Cedillo said.

Los Angeles implemented short-term rental regulations in late 2018 after more than three years of debate, which became effective July 1, but the city gave short-term rental companies extensions to adjust to the new regulations.

People who spoke at city meetings in the last week have said homesharing is their primary means of income, and others said they’ve been able to start businesses with the revenue collected from homesharing.

The proposed changes come two days before the enforcement of the homesharing ordinance goes into effect on Nov. 1.

The city’s regulations, as they are currently written, will mandate that only primary residences can be rented short-term — meaning homes where the host lives at least six months of the year — and would require them to list units for rent on a city-monitored system.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.