Long Term Rental in Los Angeles & The California Tenant Law


So as you all know, LA changed the law for STR however, they allow LTR for over 30 days without a permit.

So my questions is, and might be dumb is… how this new law aligns with the California Tenant Law that basically protects “squatters”?!

You all remember the Palm Springs squatter a few years ago that stopped paying after 30 days and the law protected from kicking him out and required the landlord to pay his relocation fee.

Maybe I’m missing something but I got a request for 50 days host and I realized I can’t break it in half because the new STR law doesn’t allow me and I can’t rent it LTR with the risk of the squatter…

What am I missing here? Any insights?

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You’re probably not missing anything, that’s the way the cookie crumbles for LTR here in the UK. It can take months to get them out, luckily I’ve not had that problem in 40yrs.

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You’re not really asking in the right place. Your local authorities will be better equipped to help you.

I don’t think you’re really missing anything. It’s actually always been a problem for rentals in California and yet the majority of L.A. is renting. Landlords have always been dealing with the tenant laws in California. I have friends who rent out their property there. They screen their tenants and definitely won’t rent to anyone who has an eviction in their history but they also actually call the references on the application. It’s all about getting a great tenant. They tell me that part of that is getting a tenant that doesn’t “need or want to squat”, determining that is surely a skill that is developed. At the same time, most people are not squatting and most landlords are not dealing with squatters.

The insight may be that Airbnb hosts have been “sold” a different situation: it’s a community, share your space for extra money, it’s simple, yada, yada. And it is awesome but it has not ever really been the full reality in California - e.g. there has always been an extra risk. And Airbnb hosts are not exactly prepared to be like landlords are and yet you’ve now been put in a position to be a landlord but without any further resources or experience. I would say that it’s not just now but it feels more like that now as there is definitely a higher risk when the guest is starting out at 30 days. But even a guest that started out at 4-days was still a risk, there was just some cushioning.

Personally, I would probably not want to do Airbnb in California. It’s more trouble than I’d want. I would want to run background checks or something and that’s not worth it to me for 30 days at a time, but that’s just me. I use Airbnb because it’s easier but at 30 day minimums I feel like I lose that benefit of “easier”.

There are lots of hosts on here in California, I am sure they may have some tips and advice for how they are navigating it. Lots of people are successful with it. My instinct is that it comes back to: squatting has always been a threat but most people are not squatting. It’s just gotten a lot of press lately. And some of that press is coming from Airbnb hosts that are just not prepared to really navigate California tenant laws.

Squatting is not the only concern either. I was a tenant in L.A. for almost 10 years. My favorite tenant law is that you can do things to the apartment and the landlord can’t complain if it’s technically “an improvement”. Yes, painting the walls black is still an improvement as it is, afterall, a new coat of paint - I know 2 different landlords who dealt with that specifically :woman_facepalming:

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I don’t think you’re missing anything, either. I wouldn’t use Airbnb at all for 30-day+ rentals. Once the professional squatters realize the Airbnb doesn’t allow hosts to acquire the necessary information to do proper background checks before booking a reservation, Airbnb hosts that rent for 30+ days will become the target.

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Once you are required to rent for 30 days or more, it seems pointless to list on STR sites. One reason many hosts got into Airbnb and the like is because they had issues with long-term lease renters. But at least with a renter on a lease you can require personal references, references from past landlords, work history, know the person’s real name, and hold an actual security deposit. I can’t imagine why anyone would continue to use STR sites to find guests if they can’t rent for less than 30 days.

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The authorities won’t pickup the phone (called 10 times at this point) and won’t reply emails.

Thank you for that, it’s helpful.

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Seems like it as it’s not worth the risk. Thank you!

We did it as I wanted to see what it will bring as far as LTR goes. Now I got it and minutes before confirming I started to think about all of this… oh well. Thank you for the insights!

Depending on which neighborhood of LA you live in, it might not be so bad doing long term rentals if you get the right guest. I live near several movie studios and acting schools, so I often get summer interns working at the studio. They’re pretty much guaranteed to not be squatters—they stay for 2-3 months, then go back to their college town. I would be very very careful about renting to a local for more than 30 days on AirBnB because you increase your chance of getting a squatter.

If you have questions specific to LA, there are two great Facebook groups for LA hosts, and there’s a lot of advocacy going on through these groups to petition the city to make it easier for individuals to host and still keep out the big landlords who turn entire apartment buildings into short term rentals. Message me if you want a link to the groups.


Will do, thank you!!