The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has filed criminal charges against the owners of a rent-controlled apartment building in the Fairfax district, alleging that they evicted tenants and converted the units to short-term rentals on Airbnb.
Owners of three other properties are facing civil suits that they illegally operated rent-controlled buildings as hotels.
It marks the first time City Atty. Mike Feuer has prosecuted landlords on suspicion of operating illegal short-term rentals and is meant to send a signal to other landlords breaking city laws at a time when L.A. is facing an affordable-housing crisis.
“Given that shortage of affordable housing, illegally converting rental units to hotels or short-rentals has got to stop,” Feuer said at a news conference Monday. “My 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.”
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