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L.A. Wants Airbnb To Hand Over Addresses Of Listings To Crack Down On Short-Term Rentals

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Hollywood Metro apartments. (Photo by Frederick Dennstedt via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Los Angeles wants to crack down on short-term rentals across the city, and wants to force sites like Airbnb to turn over user information as a part of that effort.On Friday, the city unveiled a proposed set of rules that would limit how residents could rent their homes. In order to enforce these new guidelines, the city is threatening listing sites like Airbnb with fines if they don't hand over addresses. Airbnb says the new law would be a breach of privacy.

In a statement to the L.A. Times, Airbnb spokeswoman Alison Schumer said, "The proposal takes a step backward putting consumer privacy at great risk by requiring online platforms to give the government unfettered access to confidential user data without any idea of how that information would be used."

Officials argue that without the information, enforcement of short-term rentals would be difficult. "We're not asking for a ton of deep, personal private information," Councilmember Mike Bonin said to the Times. "What units are being rented? How often?"

According to KPCC, Airbnb and similar sites could be fined up to $500 to $1,000 a day per listing if they fail to hand over the information or continue to post listings deemed illegal.

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Under the proposal, residents would only be allowed to rent out a room or residence at their "primary residence"—where they live up to six months per year—for up to 90 days annually. Apartments that are considered affordable-housing or rent-stabilized would be banned from the sites as well. Residents would also have to pay the same lodging tax as hotels.

Residents could face fines anywhere between $200 to $2,000 per day for violating any of these rules.

The plan was proposed by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Council President Herb Wesson, and can be read here.

"This draft ordinance proposes an enforceable system to protect affordable housing and our neighborhoods from rogue hotel operators, while still allowing people to make ends meet by sharing their primary residence," Bonin said in a statement.

The public will be allowed to weigh in on the proposal at a hearing on May 21, 10 a.m., at the Deaton Auditorium. The proposal will then move on to the city planning commission in June before it is voted on by the City Council.