The Los Angeles City Council is planning to hit homeowners who rent out rooms and entire residences via Airbnb and other temporary rental sites for more than 90 days per year with fines ranging from $200 to $2000 per day.

Under a plan released in late April, hosts would have to register with the city, pay the same lodging taxes as hotels and would be limited to renting out spaces for no more than 3 months. Hosts would also be held legally responsible for any nuisance violations incurred by guests.

The hosting sites themselves would also have to pay fines for advertising listings that violate city rules or refusing to hand over the addresses of short-term rentals in the city.

The proposal comes as housing activists are increasingly finding fault with sites like Airbnb for a persistent housing shortage within the City of Angels, and city officials are increasingly frustrated with the slowness of short-term rental sites to pay lodging taxes. Activists accuse sites like Airbnb of turning untold numbers of apartments into short-term rentals for tourists, charging more per night and effectively taking them off the long-term rental market in Los Angeles.

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In a statement, Airbnb responded by saying that the proposed fines will middle-class hosts who rely on the income that comes from renting out rooms and homes on a short-term basis. Airbnb argued that the city’s proposed disclosure rules would put consumer privacy at risk by exposing hosts’ addresses without any idea of how the information would be used.

The L.A. Short-Term Rental Alliance, a group that represents the interests of short-term rental hosts, predicted that the city’s disclosure rules and privacy concerns would raise legal challenges to proposal from other groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. The director of operations for the L.A. Short-Term Rental Alliance, Robert St. Genis, said that the city’s proposal is fatally flawed and would end up shot down in court.

St. Genis said that the city’s proposal would hurt jobs and deter tourism and conventions in Los Angeles. City Councilmember Mike Bonin, one of the councilmembers who proposed the new regulations, said that they would protect affordable housing from what he called “rogue” hotel operators.

The LASTRA is not the only local ally of Airbnb. The San Francisco-based company is now in talks with the Service Employees International Union to support a making $15 the federal minimum wage. The SEIU, which represents about 2 million workers and has many chapters in the Los Angeles area, could be a powerful political ally for Airbnb not only in California but in many other states and municipalities that are considering similar regulations.

A clash between Airbnb, hosts and service employees against the City Council and affordable housing activists looks very likely. The first public hearing to discuss the new rules is scheduled for May 21 at 10 a.m. at the Deaton Auditorium in downtown L.A.

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