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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

City Council Approves Short-Term Rental Regulation

City Council passed a long awaited short-term rental regulation.  It will allow for less than 30-day rentals in a home occupied by an owner.  The owner must occupy the residents for more than half of the year.  The maximum number of days for  renting would be 120 per year.

Also presented that day was a short-term rental proposal asking city staffers to draft a short-term rental agreement for vacation rentals.

Apartments covered by rent stabilization ordinance and units under affordable  housing covenants will not be allowed to rent out rooms.

See LA Times article.



One must register his unit.

Short-term Rentals Pass Planning; To Return to Planning for Review Before City Council Vote

Short-term rental rules passed the Planning and Land Use Management committee (PLUM) this week. All will return for review before going to City Council for vote.

Here are highlights:
Primiary residences qualify for short-term rentals but for only 120 days per year. An extension could occur but extension qualifications is not clear. Cost of extensions are not stated but they could run from $1000 to $5660.

Carl Lambert at Venice won a battle recently that stated an apartment can be rented for less than 30 days. So apartments can be used for short-term rentals. New law would prohibit rent stabilized units and apartments with affordable housing covenants from being rentals.

Enforcement would be a fine of $500 per day for advertising an illegal rental. Platform advertising such unit would be fined $1000 daily for an illegal listing or for refusing to hand over addresses of unregistered rentals.


Mayor Budgets Short-term Rental Tax Income; Bonin Warns that Fiscal Need Could be Deterrent for Sensible Regulations

The LA Times today reported on Mayor Eric Garcetti”s proposed budget and how important this short-term rental revenue has become to the City coiffeurs. Implication was that short-term rentals were to continue without restrictions.

Councilman Mike Bonin warned that this financial need could “build up a fiscal firewall against physical sensible regulations.” Bonin’s area covers Venice, which has one of the largest concentrations of short-term rentals

In San Francisco, according to Darryl DuFay who submitted the San Francisco story and link, rentals must be registered with the city and the registration number must be on all advertisements with Airbnb and HomeAway. Other advertising rental companies are to do the same. Airbnb has adopted the policy of “One Host, One Home” and length of time has been set at 90 days. The specific rules for San Francisco short-term rentals is unknown.

Supervisors unanimously passed legislation holding advertising rental companies liable for steep fines and criminal penalties if they arrange guest stays at unregistered properties.

The article states that of the 923 listings the company has pulled, it says 317 were entire homes, 26 were private rooms and 580 were shared rooms. Airbnb said in its report these listings could either “impact long-term housing availability” or didn’t provide the “best possible experience on our platform.

STR Show Benefit after 83 Days in Venice

Landlords wonder how many days of a short-term rental would it take to break even with a long term rental. For Venice it is 83 days. Rent it for 83 days on Airbnb and you have made approximately what you would make in a year of long-term rental.

Inside Airbnb’s Murray Cox released data showing that affordable housing will be lost if short-term rentals are permitted for as few as 60 days per year in some Los Angeles neighborhoods. Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), analyzed the data and found that across all Los Angeles neighborhoods it takes an average of just 83 nights per year to earn more on Airbnb than can be earned in a whole year of renting to a long-term renter.

What Impact Will STR Ordinance Have on Venice Rental Market?

Marie Hammond asked the question: What impact will the new Short-Term Rental (STR) ordinance, when operative, have on the Venice rental market? Hammond provided the AirBnB map showing 1500 units in Venice as of January 2016. The information also shows that the City Planning Commission considers Venice a focal point for the STR market. Will this put a glut of vacancies in Venice? Will the rents go down?

City Planning

City Attorney Files Actions Against STR; Venice Suites, Venice Beach Suites Named


LOS ANGELES – Seeking to preserve much-needed affordable housing, City Attorney Mike Feuer is taking action against the owners of four properties for allegedly unlawfully converting and operating rent stabilized apartment buildings as short-term rentals or hotels.

“In a city with a profound shortage of affordable housing, unlawfully converting rental units to operate hotels has got to stop,” said Feuer.  “My office will continue to intervene to keep rent-stabilized units on the market and hold owners accountable for not complying with the law.”

The City Attorney filed civil cases against the owners and operators of three apartment buildings each subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), alleging that the property owners are illegally operating and advertising as hotels. The lawsuits seek a court appointed receiver to operate the properties until they are brought into compliance, as well as restitution and significant civil penalties.

Carl Lambert, the owner of Venice Suites (417 Ocean Front Walk), allegedly has operated and advertised the 32-unit apartment building in Venice as a hotel complete with its own website and regular hotel amenities. In January, 2015, the Department of Housing and Community Development (“HCIDLA”) issued Orders to Comply to discontinue use as a hotel. Those orders allegedly continue to be ignored by the defendant.

William Andrew Layman, Rose Layman and Matthew Moore, the owners and managers of Venice Beach Suites (1305 Ocean Front Walk), allegedly operate the 30-unit apartment building as a hotel, extensively using internet sites to advertise the apartment units as hotel rooms for reservations, though the zoning for the location does not allow for its current use. In January 2015, HCIDLA issued Orders to Comply to the property owners citing the illegal use as a hotel. Those orders allegedly continue to be ignored by the defendants.

George Panoussis owns a 59-unit apartment building (830 N. Van Ness Avenue) allegedly operating and advertising as the Hollywood Dream Suites Hotel in direct violation of the area’s residential zoning requirements. Panoussis and his co-defendants allegedly have denied inspectors access to the premises at least eight times. In January, 2014, HCIDLA issued Orders to Comply to the property owner for illegally using the property as a hotel without proper permits from the Department of Building and Safety. Those orders allegedly continue to be ignored by the defendants.

At a fourth property, Carol Jean Alsman, the owner of a 4-unit property located at 500 N. Genesee Avenue, was charged with six counts in a criminal case alleging:  failure to comply with an Order to Comply, zoning violations; illegal use without proper building permits, failure to file notice of intention to re-rent, failure to offer rental to displaced tenants, and renting property within five years after withdrawing from the rental market under the Ellis Act.

The complaint alleges Alsman applied under the Ellis Act to remove her rent-controlled property from the rental market and complied with all regulations to have tenants compensated and relocated. However, Alsman allegedly began renting those units shortly thereafter through Airbnb and failed to allow former tenants an opportunity to re-rent those units, in direct violation of the provisions of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

The City Attorney will be sending a list of Ellis Act properties to Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms as a preemptive measure to prevent listing of similar properties.

Assistant City Attorney Tina Hess and Deputy City Attorney Andrew Wong are handling the litigation.


Public Hearing for Short-Term Rentals, 21 May

Public hearing for the draft Short-Term Rental ordinance that was released by the Planning Department 15 April will be held 10 am, 21 May at Ronald F. Deaton Auditorium, 100 W 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Note that the public refers to the ordinance as the “Short-Term Rental” ordinance while the Los Angeles City Planning Department refers to it as the “Home-Sharing” Ordinance (CF 16-1435-S2) that addresses the short-term rentals in Los Angeles.

After the hearing, the ordinance will be considered by the City Planning Commission, likely at 8:30 am, 23 June meeting in the Van Nuys City Hall, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd, 91401, according to Tricia Keane, planning director for Councilman Mike Bonin.

“There will be further notice for that meeting, and there will be a staff report made available two weeks prior to the meeting,” Keane wrote.

Comments can be sent to Matthew Glesne, Housing Planner, matthew.glesne@lacity.org, 213-978-2666, prior to 6 June.

New Short-Term Rental Ordinance Draft Out

By David Graham-Caso, communications director for Councilman Mike Bonin

LOS ANGELES – After months of work and collaboration with neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, the Department of City Planning today released a draft ordinance regulating short-term rentals in Los Angeles that will protect both affordable housing and neighborhoods while still allowing people to rent their primary residences for home-sharing.

Councilmember Mike Bonin and City Council President Herb Wesson, who originally proposed the regulations, applauded the draft ordinance.

“This draft ordinance proposes an enforceable system to protect affordable housing and our neighborhoods from rogue hotel operators, while still allowing people to make ends meet by sharing their primary residence,” said Bonin. “I appreciate the hard work of the planning staff and the input of hundreds of neighbors who helped get these smart regulations ready to be considered by the Planning Commission and City Council.”

“From the beginning we sought a solution that balanced the needs of neighborhoods while protecting the city’s affordable housing stock,” said Wesson. “Today we are a step closer to maximizing the L.A. tourist experience while allowing the city to use new transit-occupancy tax revenues to deliver constituent services.”

Under the proposed regulations, people who would like to offer their homes as short-term rentals would need to register as a host with the Department of City Planning, which would include signing up with the Department of Finance to pay Transient Occupancy Taxes to the City. Once registered, hosts would be required to include their registration number on all advertisements for the rental. This would prevent speculators from purchasing entire buildings, evicting tenants, and replacing scarce rental stock with de facto hotels.

Additionally, hosts would not be able to register properties that are under affordable housing covenants or the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, and hosts would only be allowed to register their primary residence for short-term rentals. Finally, hosts would only be allowed to rent their property for a maximum of 90 days a year.

“The draft ordinance establishes clear guidelines for how people can honestly homeshare,” said Bonin. “Even better, the registration process would make it very easy to know if a host is offering a short-term rental that is not allowed under the new rules, which will help the City enforce these new rules and protect affordable housing in our neighborhoods.”

Neighborhood character would also be protected by the draft ordinance, which would make hosts legally responsible for all nuisance violations by their guests. Violations of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor, and the draft outlines financial penalties for listing rentals without a valid registration number or listing a rental for more than 90 days in a year.

The draft ordinance would also place enforcement and reporting requirements on homesharing sites, which would help the City enforce the new rules. Sites would be required to actively prevent listings without a host registration number and they would need to provide a monthly inventory of rentals in the city.

The first public hearing to gather input on the ordinance is being scheduled for Saturday May 21st at 10am at the Deaton Auditorium (100 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012). The ordinance will then be considered by the City Planning Commission on June 23rd.

The ordinance can be found at:

News About Town …

Sidewalk Sales


Short-Term Rentals
Airbnb wins in San Francisco. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-airbnb-analysis-20151105-story.html

Homeless Vets Get Help

Short-Term Rentals Metastasize

By Darryl Dufay, editor of Voice of Canals
“Free enterprise” in Short-Term Rentals (STR) is alive and well and is moving quickly towards the degrading of the “quality of life” for many.

The big players Airbnb and VRBO and others have overwhelmed us and now another player has entered the scene – the real estate industry’s Multiple Listing Service. The listing does not say Short-Term rentals. The “code” for it is under Terms: Negotiable. Note: A list of a some STR companies is below.

At the other end of the spectrum “boutique” players are joining the race to wealth. Recently received focused advertisements from Vaca “Vacation Rental Management” for Venice and “onefinestay.” It is open season!

Where are we now and what can we expect? Not really clear. Our need is: NO short-term rentals of single-family homes by ABSENTEE owners.

1. STRs are currently illegal in R-1 single-family areas and R-2 zones. The Ordinance was not enforced.

2. STRs of rooms and/or guesthouse of owner occupied homes existed before and will continue to exist.

3. The “big” money is the rental of an entire home. Costs of $600 – 800 per night are common. Money goes to the companies, to the host, and to the City of Los Angeles with a 14% Transient Occupancy Tax “TOT” – the “bed tax.”

4. The “TOT” tax was recently levied by the City Council on R-1 and 2 property. Now some property owners believe they can claim a legal status because the City accepted the tax and that confers a “hotel” status on their property.

5. Noise, parties, loud music, raucous behavior, parking, etc. from STRs with absentee owners overwhelm the neighbors. In their total frustration to try to deal with renters that flow in and out of the community, their final recourse is the LAPD. The LAPD has the desire and responsibility to help, but not the resources. This is a burden that should not be made worse.

6. There is no enforcement now and every indication that this condition will probably not change because the situation is too immense. Having short-term rentals only for owner occupied homes can ameliorate this reality.

We encourage Councilmen Mike Bonin and Herb Wesson to continue to craft a Short-Term Rental Ordinance that protects the people of the neighborhoods while meeting the needs of those owners that have rooms and/or guest houses to rent in their homes.