Sean Erenstoft discusses short-term rentals and the debate raging about Air BNB
If you are a homeowner who ever thought of renting your home short-term, you may have heard of Air BNB (or perhaps one of its competitors: FlipKey; HomeAway; VRBO; HouseTrip; VayStays; VacayHero; and Roomorama).
The debate about hyper-regulating this relatively new market is heating up and if you have ever thought about renting your home, you should be aware of the debate.
Los Angeles’ plan to allow rentals for only 180 days per short-term listing provided the chief bone of contention in new regulations now being proposed. City planners say the cap will address nuisance complaints about short-term rental guests as well as deter commercial landlords from turning apartments into lucrative Airbnb listings.
The hotel industry has been bankrolling a campaign against Airbnb, which has been eating into their business. Hotel industry executives complained that Airbnb isn’t required to follow the same guidelines in areas like safety, disability access and health as they do.
Presently, the City of Los Angeles does not have an ordinance regulating Airbnb, which connects travelers with hosts looking to rent out their home or a bedroom in their home, but struck a deal with the company last year for it to pay hotel taxes on behalf of its hosts under a three-year agreement, even though short-term rentals are illegal in many residential neighborhoods.
Among the most controversial parts of the proposed ordinance is limiting the number of rental days per host to 180 days a year. Other cities have enacted short-term rental limitations, with Santa Monica limiting them to 60 days and San Francisco limiting them to 90 days.
Los Angeles projects it could collect over $33 million in taxes from Airbnb for the upcoming fiscal year, and has banked on the number in its approved budget, but the company has warned that capping rental days would significantly cut into that number.
Citizens concerned about maintaining the freedom to rent their homes told city officials that a rental cap would severely impact their finances, with potential hardships including being unable to pay their medical bills, send their kids to college or be able to keep their homes.
“Guests contribute to the local economy, and we need business in our community and we need people to be able to share their homes,” Noreen McClendon, executive director of Concerned Citizens of South Los Angeles, told the committee. “You have heard stories already of people being able to supplement their income and we don’t want that restricted. And I just ask that you take into consideration the stories that you’ve heard, they’re real.”
While Airbnb is fighting the 180-day ordinance, the city has been receiving pressure from other groups to pass a more stringent one.
If you are interested in the current laws affecting short-term rentals, consider this article published by Airbnb. (See article).
Sean Erenstoft works with property rental property investors to ensure that a positive cap-rate. This includes locating properties within his clients’ price-range and garnering information about condo reserves and HOA dues as well as potential improvements and obsolescence in single family residences. If you are in Los Angeles looking to buy, call Sean and he will put together a customized list of investment property. He will also take efforts to show you the properties personally and work to help you negotiate a smooth transaction.
Sean Erenstoft can be reached at (310) 613-8887.