Los Angeles looking at stricter rules on hotels, Airbnb units

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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Los Angeles looking at stricter rules on hotels, Airbnb units
The Los Angeles City Council is considering an ordinance that would require new police review of permits for Airbnb units and hotels.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles City Council this week moved forward with an ordinance that would require police permits for hotels and Airbnb rentals.

Hotel owners say it was a political move. In exchange, the Unite Here union is pulling an initiative from the March ballot that would have required hotels to put homeless residents in vacant hotel rooms.

"The concern overwhelmingly from the public was they don't want to see the unhoused staying with the paid guests," Ray Patel from the Northeast Los Angeles Hotel Owners says.

The proposed ordinance would require a background check and inspections of hotels and Airbnb units.

LA City Council president Paul Krekorian says "It's important that we did that in order to have more tools to be able to enforce the law against bad operators who create party houses and other nuisances for the neighborhood."

But Patel has concerns. "Commingling the hotel industry with the Airbnb industry in an ordinance flatly doesn't make sense," he says.

At the City Council meeting the LAPD said it would take about 30 days to issue permits, and the department expects a big increase in its workloads to process them.

An LAPD officer told the council that "Generally annually we do between 4,000 to 5,000 permits. So under this new program that would nearly triple our work, it would be 9,000, at full compliance would be 9,400 permits."

Airbnb declined to comment about the proposed ordinance.

Small hotel owners say it also presents a lot of questions.

"How do we qualify for it? You know, they've got provisions in there that say if you have any employees that we're not happy with that had some kind of conviction or something, you automatically lose your permit," Patel says.

The City Council will have a second vote on Friday. If approved the new ordinance would go into effect in July.