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LA Jobs, Income and Tax Revenue at Stake as Vacation Rental Ban Looms

Homeowners Call on City to Finish the Job of Regulating Short-Term Rentals by Passing a Vacation Rental Ordinance that Protects the Rights of Owners and LA Neighborhoods

Los Angeles, Oct. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LOS ANGELES, CA, October 17, 2019 – On November 1, the City of Los Angeles will move forward with enforcement of its primary-only short-term rental ordinance passed last December by the City Council – effectively banning secondary vacation rentals in Los Angeles. Homeowners that are currently listing secondary, traditional whole home vacation rentals on various online platforms are expecting to have their listings removed and will be unable to continue generating tax dollars for the City, earning critical income for their households, and supporting jobs in the vacation rental economy.

 

Vacation rental homeowners holding out hope that the City would delay enforcement until a promised secondary vacation rental ordinance is in place are left stunned. Since January, the City Planning Department repeatedly promised to present an ordinance regulating traditional whole home vacation rentals. As of today, no language has been released by Planning, and thousands of homeowners are now faced with significant loss of income and will be scrambling to pay mortgages, tuition, and fund retirement.

 

PJ Lennon, Los Angeles Vacation Home Rental Alliance Boardmember, has owned his home for 40 years and now faces the prospect of selling his home and moving out of Los Angeles. “I invested in this property to fund my retirement. It’s my only source of income. Being able to rent out my guest house as a vacation rental allows me to pay my bills. I pay taxes, I follow the rules, and my vacation renters benefit the local economy by spending their money with local vendors and restaurants when they visit Los Angeles. Now the city is telling me I’m out of luck. How am I going to pay the mortgage next month?”

 

The Los Angeles Vacation Home Rental Alliance is a coalition of vacation rental stakeholders in Los Angeles, including property owners and managers, housekeepers, gardeners, and businesses both large and small that advocate for reasonable regulation and responsible management.  For months members of LAVHRA have been asking City leaders to follow the lead of communities like Seattle, Louisville and San Antonio by passing regulations that balance homeowners’ property rights with the unique needs of Los Angeles neighborhoods.   

 

LAVHRA members Marta and Ryan Cross own a duplex in the Northeast Los Angeles community. Marta has a budding acting career but has taken a hiatus to be a stay at home mom, and her husband is a jazz musician. It hasn’t been an easy task budgeting on a fluctuating income. As a means to bring much needed financial help, while providing flexibility as the family grows, Marta decided to list the second unit in the duplex as a vacation rental.

 

“I love helping my community and local businesses. My vacation rental was a small way for me to give back. My guests frequent the local businesses in Highland Park and some even stay in the area longer than anticipated. I feel proud that I can host families who normally couldn’t afford to travel as my vacation rental is very affordable,” said Marta Cross.

 

Listing the second unit as a vacation rental has provided an economic safety-net affording the Cross family to stay in their home, while allowing her husband to continue his music career. In the process, Marta is giving back to her community, as she mentors freshmen students enrolled at Los Angeles High School for the Arts, a tuition-free public high school for students interested in pursuing careers in the visual arts.

 

Last December, the primary-only, short-term rental ordinance was passed - completely excluding secondary, whole-home vacation rentals. When enforcement of the primary ordinance takes effect on November 1, all vacation home rentals will be outlawed and banned, and in order to comply with the law, homesharing platforms will have to de-list all properties that are not registered with the city

 

Without secondary, whole-home vacation rentals, thousands of local owners and property managers will suffer a severe loss of income, while the City will suffer a significant loss of tax revenue generated from the thousands of vacation rental owners. 

Wilson Truong
Los Angeles Vacation Home Rental Alliance (LAVHRA)
562-243-8993
wilson@lavhra.org