On any given day, about 500 rentals in Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Mount Washington are on offer through Airbnb and other short-term rental sites.
New rules proposed in September by the City Planning Commission could affect many of them.
The proposed rules, if approved by the City Council, would limit short term rentals to primary residences, defined as a home where the host lives at least six months of the year. That would stop investors and corporations from buying up properties for the purpose of renting them out short term. An analysis by the Boulevard Sentinel in June found that nearly a third of hosts in Eagle Rock had multiple properties listed for short-term rent, which suggests they are not people who rent out their homes for extra money but rather investors who run vacation-rental businesses in a residential area.
Initially, the proposed rules would let hosts rent their homes (including rooms in their homes or guest houses on their properties) for a total of 120 nights a year. But hosts could get permission to exceed the cap, up to 365 nights a year, if they meet certain criteria, including having no nuisance violations from the city.
The proposed rules would also let people living in rent-stabilized apartments engage in short term rentals, but those rentals would be capped at 120 days of year with no possibility of extension. Tenant advocates had pushed for a ban on short-term rentals of rent-stabilized apartments as a way to ensure that such apartments are preserved for people who really need them.
The proposed rules could still change, because the City Council must vet and vote on them before they become law. If approved, the new rules would take effect in July.