Short Term Rentals
AirBnB, FlipKey, VRBO, HomeAway, etc.
On September 21, 2015, the West Hollywood City Council adopted ordinance 15-958 which further clarifies the City’s long-standing prohibition of short term vacation rentals in the City. This ordinance went into effect on October 21, 2015.
What the new law means:
1. No person shall rent a dwelling unit, or part of a dwelling unit, to anybody, for a period of 30 days or less. All rentals must be for 31 or more days.
2. The advertising of this activity is also prohibited. Flyers, posters, emails, online ads, and the like, are all prohibited.
Does the law apply to single family homes, apartments, condos, and guest houses?
Yes. This prohibition applies to all dwelling units in the City.
Is there an enforcement “grace period”?
No. Any short term vacation rental operating in the City is not permitted to do so.
Why did the City Council adopt this ordinance?
The City of West Hollywood convened a Shared Economy Task Force in 2014 to review and make recommendations to the City Council regarding Shared Economy business models. This included a comprehensive review of short-term rentals.
While short-term rentals may provide benefits to individual residents, strong concerns were raised by community members during the Task Force review process about quality-of-life and public safety impacts of short-term rentals, as well as the effect of short-term rentals on affordable housing in West Hollywood.
The Task Force ultimately recommended to City Council that it affirm and further clarify the existing prohibition of short-term rentals within West Hollywood.
How the City responds to complaints:
When Code Compliance receives a complaint about this issue, a case will be generated and the enforcement process will begin. The following is a general guideline on how enforcement will proceed.
Step 1 – A warning notice will be issued to the tenant or property owner informing them that they are in violation of the prohibition on short-term rentals. They will be given 30 days to take the appropriate steps to correct the violation. This means the immediate stoppage of short term rentals and the taking down of any advertisement for such an activity.
Step 2 – A letter will be issued to the complainant informing them of the case # and what can be expected to take place in the coming days and weeks.
Step 3 – If the violation continues, citations will be issued to the violating party. These fines will begin at 400% of the advertised rental rate and go up to 800%. Advertised Rental Rate shall be defined as the advertised nightly rate multiplied by the minimum number of nights required to rent the dwelling or part of the dwelling. The Advertised Rental Rate shall not include deposits or ancillary fees.
For ads that do not have a listed rental price, fines range from $1000.00 to $5000.00.
Step 4 – Although we do not anticipate the need to do so, continued non-compliance may result in this matter being referred to the City Prosecutor’s Office for criminal prosecution.
How to Report a Short Term Rental:
If you believe that a violation of this law is taking place, please contact Code Compliance so that we can begin the enforcement process.
- Call us at 323-848-6516
- Email us
- Use the City’s Service Request
- Use the City’s Mobile App
**When filing a concern, please provide a link to a website or advertisement for this rental if possible.
The text of the law reads as follows:
WHMC 19.36.331 – Short-Term Vacation Rentals
A. Rental Prohibited. No person or entity shall offer or provide a dwelling unit, or any portion thereof, for
rent for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days or less to any transient.
B. Advertisement. No person or entity shall maintain any advertisement of a rental prohibited by this section.
WHMC 19.90.020 – Definitions of Specialized Terms and Phrases
Advertisement. Any printed or lettered announcement, whether in a magazine, newspaper, handbill, notice, display, billboard, poster, Internet website or application, or any other form.
Rent. Consideration charged, whether or not received, for the occupancy of space in a dwelling unit valued in money, whether to be received in money, goods, labor or otherwise.
Transient. Any person who exercises occupancy or is entitled to occupancy of a dwelling unit for a period of thirty (30) consecutive calendar days or less, counting portions of calendar days as full days.