A Los Angeles Superior Court judge sided Friday with a man who was accused of running an illegal hotel in Venice Beach, concluding that renting out apartment units in his building for short stays was not banned under city codes.
Carl Lambert was one of several people targeted by the city attorney two years ago and accused of operating apartment buildings as illegal hotels.
In his civil suit, City Atty. Mike Feuer argued that Lambert was defying city law and exacerbating the housing crisis by taking units off the rental market, and that he and his company were “well aware that what they are doing is illegal.” The Venice Beach building falls under city rent stabilization rules.
Lambert and his attorneys countered in court filings that it was consistent with city rules to rent out the building on Ocean Front Walk for short stays, arguing that an occupancy certificate issued decades ago had authorized it to be used as an “apartment-hotel.”
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