Venice property owner allowed to rent units for less than 30 days
LOS ANGELES—Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) successfully defended Venice Suites, LLC and Carl Lambert, owners of an apartment house on the Venice Beach boardwalk, against a case brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney. The lawsuit sought an injunction and severe financial penalties, contending that JMBM’s clients violated the Los Angeles Municipal Code, including the City’s rent-control ordinance, by renting out units for short-term stays. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, on Friday, March 23, 2018, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa A. Beaudet ruled that “there is no statutory basis for restricting the use of an apartment house based on length of occupancy.”
“In fact, there is no municipal code provision that restricts renting out these kinds of units on a short-term basis,” said JMBM land use lawyer Matthew Hinks, who handled the matter for Venice Suites and Lambert. “Lambert has always complied with existing laws and regulations, which include the payment of millions of dollars in transient occupancy taxes over the years.”
“The housing shortage in Los Angeles is not going to be resolved by efforts to limit the legal uses of residential buildings,” said Benjamin M. Reznik, Chair of JMBM’s Government, Land Use, Environment & Energy Department, noting that the City Attorney has filed similar lawsuits against other property owners in Los Angeles. “Los Angeles should focus on creating more housing rather than spend its resources intimidating property owners who follow the law with quasi-criminal penalties,” said Reznik.
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