Hello True Homesharers.
I rent a room from my "RSO" house in Venice, CA. I do not own the home I live in, like the majority of us in Los Angeles. My rent for a two-bedroom is over $3,000/month (sadly considered "cheap" here) and will go up and up every year, and my community is officially the most expensive place to live in all of Los Angeles per square foot. After my partner and I split, I also wanted to stay in my home, so I decided to use my extra space (formerly an office) as an asset and started the job of "hosting". Thank the man in the sky that I was able to do so with Airbnb. I do not want a full-time roommate which requires me conferring full-rights, contractually, to a stranger, forever, especially because I'm in an RSO unit and homesharing allowed me to stay in my home.
Hosting while living full-time in the home is certainly much more than simply renting a room and includes tour-guiding, experiences, and admin duties, all of which take time, money, and other resources. I report the income on my taxes and the IRS considers it a job. So do I. Now the City of LA is firing me from my job simply because I am a renter. If you don't know the current status, only RENTERS living in RSO units are now excluded from homesharing in the city of LA. I do not believe those living in RSO units should have been excluded ever, as it simply had no logical reasoning behind it's exclusion except to say some landlords "might" break the law in order to kick out renters to claim he/she lived full-time in the home so he or she could homeshare...to that I say "huh?" - no thanks, I'll rely on the EXISTING RSO laws making the practice of evicting a renter illegal and choose to continue to have the right to engage in this legal business without the city stepping in and making laws to "protect me" which in fact deprive me of equally enjoying the opportunity to have this JOB.
I believe that many, if not most, of the people I talk to about "Airbnb-ing" simply approach the topic from a place of misunderstanding, and this misunderstanding along with successful lobbying from the hotel industry has resulted in non-sensical homesharing laws in Los Angeles that actually take rights AWAY from "true" homesharers unnecessarily considering the goal is to stop the ILLEGAL practice of those who rent non-primary residences, and often multiple non-primary residences (which I agree does take from housing stock and drive up rent - it is not Airbnb that causes this, it is the illegal listings and those behind them creating this). Now because property owners relying on ADU's and room rentals have protested enough to get THEIR voices heard, there has been a change in the ordinance allowing owner occupied homesharing out of an RSO property...say what? Doesn't that in fact encourage property owners to kick renters out to engage in homesharing? The exact reason ALL RSO units were first excluded. Silly, silly logic.
The new laws are not only illogical, they are wholly discriminatory against renters specifically. Simply put, a renter should be able to enjoy ALL OF THE SAME RIGHTS OF AN OWNER and further ALL full-time residents should be allowed to host out of their full-time residence and partake in the share economy regardless of the status of being RSO or not. This is a job. Imagine if certain people were not allowed to be Uber drivers dependent on the status of car ownership, or what address their car was registered at? Creating laws to protect renters under RSO is one thing. If the property owner is allowed to run a home business form his or her property, then so can the lessor. Period. We need to band together and demand to have the same rights to conduct legal business in this industry whether we are renters or property owners. Taking rights away from those renting in an RSO unit is illegal as it is simply discrimination based on NOT being a property owner. If the property owner wishes to confer all of his or her rights to the renter then they should be able to. The city dos not need to get in between a lessor and lessee's contract.
I am positive this is illegal discrimination. Perhaps if RENTERS ban together much like property owners have done, we can get our rights back too. Let's make some noise. If you agree and want to do something, simply respond to this post. If I see interest, I'll take the step in getting us organized. Perhaps a FB group to start? Ideas? Lawyers out there perhaps. I've emailed everyone I can think of at the city level, called, left messages...no response and no logical answers as to why, which says a lot.
Old logic - flawed
New Logic - flawed and discriminatory to renters.
I certainly understand your wanting to do everything you can to stay in the home you rent. Just so I can better understand the ins and outs: Is your current landlord an individual home-owner or a commercial entity? And if they are an individual home-owner, are they okay with your renting out their place on a short-term basis to guests while you live there? If so, might they be willing to allow you to host under their name while you still run everything in the manner you currently are?
I understand that some renters may have the relationship with their landlords that somehow compels that landlord to file dishonestly for a permit claiming to be the host all while taking responsibility for actions outside if his or her control (because they are not the host), but I certainly wouldn't want my landlord to make such a commitment and there is zero benefit for a landlord to do such a thing. I have other means to make income, but I like this one. I enjoy it and I don't think I shouldn't be able to do this job because of my classification as a renter.
As far as homesharing goes, it should be simple. It's one to one. One person for one permit at one location (their permanent residence). It's beautiful in its simplicity. After all, it's the defacto hotels and illegal whole-unit vacation rentals we want to stop; allowing one to one in it's simplest form stops most of this activity. We could have made that ordinance in 5 minutes 10 years ago and maybe my rent wouldn't be $3000 right now. The people with a dozen listings under their profile from a dozen addresses, not individuals renting out a single space in their home could have been stopped under existing laws a LONG time ago. Let's be CLEAR, much of this is political.
If the city says my landlord can do it at home where he lives, and my friend who happend to rent in a place builtin 1979 ca do it where she lives, then I should be able to do it in my home where I live too, and let me and my landlord figure out those details in our contract, much like he may ban pets or waterbeds, he may ban homesharing too. The city even has a way for landowners to "proactively prohibit Home-Sharing by tenants at any or all of the owner’s properties by submitting a notification in writing to the Department of City Planning." and the ordinance requires a signed and notarized letter from the landlord if renting - I think that's quite enough.
Homesharing is a new kind of business model, part of the "share economy" and should not be confused with the actual applications like Airbnb that have essentially made it easy to start a business in tourism, Exactly how Uber and Lyft (and Sidecare - anybody remember that one?) made it easy for regular folk to be taxi drivers. Streamlined payment, reviews, etc. I may own a car, finance a car or lease a car and partake in the rideshare economy, but the city does not go in and patrol how I use my asset which happens to be a blend of personal and business. Either say all of it is illegal, this type of business, Either DO NOT ALLOW home based travel businesses that include overnight stays, just like some companies tried to do with rideshare services OR DO ALLOW THEM. DO NOT base it on whether someone owns or leases, again that is between the lessor and the lessee and the asset being leased. Of course this is keeping in mind that I'm discussing homesharing, one permit, one listing, at one address that is one's full-time residence, not de-facto hotel operators.
The city is creating an unfair advantage for property owners in more than one way and somehow the designation of properties being under RSO or not has conflated all sorts of issues related to housing and homelessness, very illogically I must say. In fact, what IS the logic in excluding renters in RSO units while allowing owner-occupied? I've asked via many emails to many city employees...The RSO designation should have no bearing on how someone engages in a legal business, which is what this is. The IRS certainly thinks so, and the City certainly thinks so given the taxes applied at check-out. The right to operate within the constraints of the ordinance should be able to be conferred by the property owner to the tenants and that contract doesn't need to be "extra" patrolled by the city.
Thank you for helping me to understand better. How does the need for short-term rental insurance factor in when you, as the renter, rent the property out short-term? Is this something that you are able to provide if the homeowner doesn't? I am asking as I am a homeowner myself, and I know that we cannot count at all on the Airbnb 'Peace of Mind' Guarantee if our properties were to be damaged by a guest. So in your case, as a renter renting out the property (with you also residing there), how is home property insurance handled so as to protect the home in case it were damaged at a level that would require insurance to repair or replace (such as in the case of fire)? @Kristen56
I think this question is getting into the weeds a bit and would be more appropriate in another question stream.
@Kristen56 And I especially agree with this: "The right to operate within the constraints of the ordinance should be able to be conferred by the property owner to the tenants and that contract doesn't need to be "extra" patrolled by the city. "