Airbnb has partnered with the city of Los Angeles with a program focused on removing illegal listings from the platform, a goal of the city leadership for a long time.
Like many cities, Los Angeles has struggled to keep illegal short term rental properties off of the platform. According to the Los Angeles Times, recent estimates showed that over 6,000 listings that did not comply with local ordinances.
New System Will Help Enforce Rules in Los Angeles
Current law requires rental hosts to register with the city, helping the city keep track of compliance. Owners in Los Angeles are required to pay a fee and are only allowed to rent out their primary residence, not investment properties or second homes.
The new system will help by providing additional information to the city and remove listings that are not in compliance. The city said that they had already removed 1,350 illegal listings since testing began over a week ago.
Airbnb is the only platform that has developed a first-of-its-kind system that both helps the city and helps hosts who share their homes in a responsible way.John Choi, Southern California public policy manger for Airbnb
Many neighborhood groups and Los Angeles city officials had expressed frustrations over delays in the system’s rollout, with one city planner saying that “Airbnb’s commitment of sufficient resources to this task did not begin in a timely manner.”
Airbnb said that while some delays came from layoffs on the system’s team, the city did not provide timely guidelines about the types of information Airbnb would need to implement the system. The city government initially worried that a crackdown on illegal listings would impact revenue for Los Angeles. City officials said that this move would not materially impact revenue as travelers would still book rentals in legal properties.
Los Angeles is the latest in a long line of cities trying to crack down on illegal short term rental properties. Chicago recently announced a ban on one-night Airbnb rentals to curb party houses.