L.A. and Airbnb launch new system meant to help remove illegal listings

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Dozens of Venice residents and advocates rally on the Venice Boardwalk in 2015 to call on the Los Angeles City Council to regulate short-term rentals.(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Dozens of Venice residents and advocates rally on the Venice Boardwalk in 2015 to call on the Los Angeles City Council to regulate short-term rentals.(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

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Los Angeles and Airbnb have launched a new system meant to help the city ferret out and remove illegal listings from the online platform, a step that L.A. officials say is crucial to enforcing its restrictions on renting out homes for short stays.

The new system “will significantly streamline the process for identifying and taking down illegal short-term-rental listings,” planning department spokesman Yeghig Keshishian said in an email. “In many ways, it’s the missing piece to the puzzle.”

Los Angeles has struggled to crack down on illegal rentals: More than a year after new rules meant to protect housing and limit short-term rentals went into effect, a Times analysis found thousands of unregistered listings remained on Airbnb. City officials recently estimated that more than 6,000 listings on the platform were out of compliance.

The municipal law requires short-term-rental hosts to register with the city, which checks whether they are meeting key requirements such as renting out their own “primary residence” rather than a second home or investment property. Advertising an unregistered rental, which is illegal, could be a way for scofflaws to try to dodge the city rules.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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