Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > L.A. County catching up with neighbors on short-term rental rules

L.A. County catching up with neighbors on short-term rental rules

  • Apr 2, 2024 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has passed a new short-term rental (STR) ordinance for unincorporated parts of the county. The regulations require STR operators to register with the county and follow other rules beginning mid-September.

Under the law, STRs are defined as rentals of 30 consecutive days or less and must be the host’s primary residence. Operators are required to register annually with the L.A. County Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTC) and pay a $914 fee. Hosts or a designated responsible person must be available at all times by telephone to respond to concerns or complaints. 

Restrictions on types of properties, activities

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or rent-restricted housing may not be used as STRs, and STRs may not be used for commercial events or large parties. Occupancy is limited to 12 people, with a maximum of two guests per bedroom, plus two other people. 

Guest stays are divided into two categories: “hosted,” in which the host is present during the stay, and “unhosted,”in which the host is absent. Hosted stays are limited to 90 days a year and have a minimum booking of two nights, while unhosted stays have a minimum booking of one night. Hosts who violate the rules may face fines of up to $2,000 per day, or two times the average nightly rate charged, whichever is greater.

The new ordinance must be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission before it can take effect in county coastal zones.

More than 2,800 STRs currently operate in unincorporated L.A. County, according to STR tracking company Granicus. STR regulations were first proposed in L.A. County in 2019, but other area governments have had STR laws on the books for some time. The city of Los Angeles passed its short-term law in 2018, requiring STR operators to register with the city and allowing STRs only in primary residences, among other rules. The city recently approved new regulations requiring short-term rental operators to obtain a police permit in an effort to cut down on large parties and illegal activity at STRs.

Marketplaces have rules to follow as well

STR marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo also have obligations under the new law. They must include valid county STR registration numbers on all listings and can be fined up to $1,000 per day per violation if they fail to follow the rules.

New law includes lodging tax compliance

The new county law also requires operators to follow lodging tax rules. STR hosts must apply for a Transient Occupancy Tax Registration Certificate with the TTC, collect Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from guests, and remit the tax to the county.

Unlike in the city of Los Angeles, STR marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo do not collect TOT for their L.A. County listings. Hosts are responsible for all tax compliance.

Avalara MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts automate and simplify short-term rental compliance. For more information on short-term rental tax obligations, see our California vacation rental tax guide.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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