Landlords Who Evicted Tenants to Make Space for Airbnb Get Their Day in Court

More than 20,000 rent-controlled units have left the market in Los Angeles since 2001—a problem exacerbated by options for short-term rentals. Now the City Attorney's Office is fighting back.

1 minute read

June 24, 2016, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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"For the first time, the city attorney’s office has filed criminal charges alleging that a building’s owners offered units for rent on Airbnb after booting out tenants," reports Ben Poston.

City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the misdemeanor charges earlier this week, sending a warning that his office "is going to intervene to preserve rent-stabilized units and restore those units when we allege they’ve been unlawfully taken off the market." 

The charges announced this week hinge on the hot-button law known as the Ellis Act, which Poston describes as "a state law that allows landlords to get out of the rental business. The law requires landlords to pay for relocation fees and notify tenants if they intend to re-rent the units within five years." The landlords in question failed to meet those requirements, renting their units for more than $550 a night.

Feuer has also promised that his office will prioritize investigations into illegal short-term rentals, and notify Airbnb of Ellis Act properties.

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