WeHo by the Numbers: Data Shows 60% of Short-Term Rentals Are in Rent Stabilized Housing

Short-term rentals available by neighborhood in West Hollywood.

An estimated 60% percent of short-term rentals are in rent-stabilized housing. That is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers, based in part on an analysis by Host Compliance, a new city contractor. A short-term rental is renting out all or part of a residential unit for 30 days or less.

Host Compliance gathers short-term rental listings from Airbnb and competing platforms. It counted 1,010 West Hollywood listings in March 2017. However, the actual number of properties being rented was lower, because some were listed on more than one platform. Host Compliance identified 839 unique short-term rental properties in West Hollywood.

Short-term rental listings over time in West Hollywood (WeHo by the Numbers)

WeHo by the Numbers also analyzed Airbnb-specific data from a website called Inside Airbnb. The number of West Hollywood listings increased after March and grew almost 40% over two years. That growth rate was lower than in most nearby communities. Santa Monica was the exception.

Host Compliance reported the number of short-term rental properties in each city neighborhood. There were about 300 each on the city’s Westside and in Center City, with fewer (235) on the Eastside. The Westside total included over 100 in West Hollywood North, about 70 in the Norma Triangle, 50 or so in both Tri-West and West Hollywood West and about 20 in the Heights above Sunset.

Three-quarters of the short-term-rental properties were whole homes — the entire house, condo, or apartment — without the host present. Fewer than half of the properties offered two or more bedrooms. Three-quarters of properties were in apartment or condo buildings. Many properties — over 40% on Airbnb — were part of a group of listings by one host.

Host Compliance estimated the number of nights per year that listings were rented. They determined that 40% of the listings across platforms had never been rented because they were new, undesirable or rentals were not seriously pursued by the host. Among those that were rented, almost half were rented out more than 90 nights a year. Over 20% were rented out more than 180 nights a year.

Half of the rentals that have been rented are believed to produce more than $10,000 a year. About one in five makes over $25,000 a year.
To find out more, see the full report, Where are the short-term rentals in West Hollywood?

What Have We Learned So Far?

Over the past two years, David Warren has researched and published 100 reports about West Hollywood. Click here for a list that offers highlights of what he has learned and shared on WeHo by the Numbers.

  1. David, are there posts that are taking up space that you need?

    There are some individuals whose posts I don’t bother to read because I’ve come to know their points of view. So do what I do. Problem solved.

  2. As you would expect, A Responsible Host, I disagree with you. If there are rules that an absentee host cannot rent out an unoccupied unit, that rule should be enforced with high penalty. Every tenant in WeHo should not be excluded because of what one, or a few, MIGHT do. If anyone who assumes the authority to disallow tenants to participate in home sharing, they must also disallow the piano teachers, massage therapists, realtors and anyone else who conducts business from their rented unit.

    You are a homeOWNER because of your hard work, good luck, or a combination of both. That’s what I want to be, and I could be a homeowner if I were able to add to my savings for the down payment. It’s discriminatory to disallow me and to allow you.

  3. blueeyedboy, thank you, and I agree with you a lot, except I’m a homeowner, and *also* a landlord. It might seem hypocritical, but I don’t advocate my tenant running an AirBnB out of her apartment, next to me. As far as condominiums go, I owned one for four months, and I’m not sure how many owners have to vote to approve such a thing. But ultimately it should be up to the HOA to determine if they will allow for HOSTED rentals, I believe.

    My concern with apartment-dwellers’ using AirBnB is that some landlords might make deals with some of them (a kickback), allowing them to take rooms off the market. Reducing housing stock, increasing overall cost for renters. Even if they don’t take a kickback, I don’t think it is good for the local economy for people who don’t have an actual investment in their dwelling to do operate this kind of business. And my concern isn’t about who is coming and going.

    Ultimately, I think the only people who should have the right to AirBnB are people who LIVE in their homes, and OWN the unit. This might seem self-serving, but I fear that allowing tenants to do this will add to our housing stock problem, just like I fear that anyone who doesn’t live in their unit, and rents something they don’t occupy will add to this problem.

    Los Angeles was recently ranked as the “least affordable” large city in the country, as cost of living relates to income. This is mostly because we don’t have enough housing stock. I’m not blaming this all on AirBnB, as I don’t have the data to know, but it certainly is adding to this problem.

  4. Thank you “A Responsible Host” for saying it better than I could. I was just about to respond to “webuiltthiscity”, by merely repeating what I’ve already said, sometimes more than once.
    In my building there are neighbors who have guests every single day at all hours of the day and night. There are Grindr “guests” frequently who clearly have never been in the building before, and many other visitors who don’t seem to know their way around. When I lived in another building in WeHo a neighbor across the hall from me was a massage therapist who had clients at all hours of the day and night, but I was never even once disturbed by that traffic. The opponents of this change in the city council’s policy surely know this, so why do they get their panties in a twist when it comes to airbnb? I can only speculate that it must be that they don’t like the idea of someone making some money, when maybe they can’t, either because they don’t have the space, or they lack the inclination to share their home, and are jealous of those who do.

    My apartment is my home and it is no one’s business whom I have in my home, or when, and that includes my landlord. So I do take issue with the city council’s position that I would need my landlord’s permission to host airbnb guests. And if I owned a condo I would take exception to being required to have the permission of the HOA. My landlord has no vested interest in doing that favor for me, and in a HOA there is always that ONE member who lives to control the activities of their neighbors in every way they can. If my landlord has no control over whom I entertain in my home, logic demands that there is no reason to deny me entertaining guests who pay me for hosting them. The tenant who gives piano lessons from her apartment, or the real estate agent who has clients in his apartment, or any other kind of business person who conducts transactions from the unit they rent is no different from an airbnb host. AirBnB has vetted everyone who uses their service in that airbnb has all their contact information and their credit card number, and guests have agreed to have their credit card charged for any damage they might do to property where they stay. Part of the fee is for that insurance. I have yet to hear an objection to this opportunity for a home-based business that makes any sense ….. at all!

  5. “webuiltthiscity,” both “blueeyedboy” and I are advocating HOSTED short-term rentals. I think you completely missed that. Read our comments again.

    Nobody is talking about “lifting the ban.” Altering it, to make it more sensible, to allow for HOSTED rentals. You might want to read up on current events, regarding this issue, which now has the support of the City Council, the same group of people who are lobbied by developers, which include hotel owners. This change would go against those developers interests. San Francisco, NYC, Sacramento and Santa Monica have all had the sense to allow for HOSTED short-term rentals. A complete ban is over-reaching.

    Regarding your logic about credit checks and what-not, I think you missed the point that we both made about people having guests in their homes day and night, without their neighbors approval. Visiting relatives, friends from out of town, Grindr tricks, people they meet in bars, etc.. Do you think all of those people go through a credit check before they come into someone’s home? Come on…


  6. Short Term Rentals includes The Oft Written about stopping short term Corporate Rentals.

    BY THE NUMBERS doesn’t mean anything if cherry picking the one most disliked air bNb (or whatever) and leaving out short term corporate rentals …. say in all the brand new Apartment Blocks going up. They rent for top dollar. What’s wrong with Short Term Corporate Housing to fill all the unrented new blights on our streets.

    Corp Renters:
    Pay Higher Rent
    Usually are furnished (quiet quick moves in and out)
    The renters obviously have good high paying jobs paying for corp apts
    Hard Working People are out all day, and don’t throw parties in their temp apt. The sleep.

    BUT by the numbers now is sounding like a scare propaganda making it sound like all short term rentals they want to ban are the PARTY HOTEL APT.

    Yeah that would be bad. But ALL short term rentals, Including Corp rentals, has repeatedly been a big part of the City trying to ban Short Term Rentals.

    Instead, we should change the weho law to have EXTRA SHORT TERMS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS. It seems fresh thinking is needed since this issue has been muddling in limbo for longer than I can remember.

    of course BY THE NUMBERS

  7. @blueeyedboy Whoever is paying you to sell this concept to the community has hired a fighter. However, you are thinking only of money and not empathizing with the long term residents in apartment and condo buildings who know their neighbors.

    When a high volume of transient short term tenants show up, the long term residents become territorial and protective of their property and rightly so. Who are these short term Airbnb renters? How have they been screened? The long term renters had to do a credit check, a background check along with first and last months rent. Condo owners have qualified for a mortgage. Residents have the right to be apprehensive about wanting short term rentals in their building and need to be protective of their investment and homes.

    If this study is true and affordable housing is being used for short term rentals that’s even more worrisome and something that should be a red flag for the City of West Hollywood. The affordable housing shortage is a crisis and landlords are using the units for short term to make a few extra bucks instead of what they were designated for. This is sickening.

    As a resident of West Hollywood, I do not support short term rental and feel that our City Council has sold out once again to a developer (Korman) if they lift the short term rental ban. When will their priority be to the residence of the City?

  8. Why can’t Airbnb be held accountable for being a facilitator in the violation of city codes/condo CC&R’s… seems like a criminal conspiracy to me.

  9. SaveWeho and blueeyedboy, as someone who lives across the border in Los Angeles, and who has rented his room out to over 250 guests (in a place I own, and live in), I can tell you that what “SaveWeho” is fearful of is complete nonsense, from my experience. Once again, over 250 guests. And they have all been kind, courteous, polite and respectful. I hear more noise coming from my permanent neighbors and their guests than from anyone I’ve ever hosted.

    What non-hosts don’t understand is that for most people, there is a difference in their behavior when they enter and stay in someone else’s home. It is indeed not a hotel, and they don’t have the place to themselves, so I believe most of my guests feel like they are staying with their in-laws, or some dynamic like that, where they aren’t just going to come into your home and start being loud and obnoxious. And I’m even factoring in alcohol into the situation here. After this many guests, I’ve seen a lot.

    I’m tired of all of this NIMBY fear-mongering. I don’t advocate non-hosted rentals. But for someone living in and owning their home, they should have the right to have who they want in their home, and under what terms. It should be nobody else’s business. I don’t tell my neighbors who they can have over, at what hours people can enter and leave, how long people can stay, if they want to put up a relative for 3 weeks, or if they want to rent their room out a week out of the month. Its none of my business. If noise becomes an issue, I take it up with my neighbor, like an adult.

    All that aside, I’d like to know why and where the city is failing at enforcing this ban. This was discussed in a Council meeting a year or so ago, and they agreed to increase the fines. They also listed many issues with enforcement. It sounds like they need more resources, and maybe need to increase the fines even more.

  10. Under no circumstances should any kind of subletting or short-term rentals be allowed in rent-stabilized housing. Neither landlords nor tenants should be getting away with this, which is making the housing crisis worse.

    This is why it took us so long to find another rent-stabilized apartment after being evicted from the last one under the dreaded Ellis Act. There were many units being used as either illegal short-term rentals by landlords or illegal sublets by absentee tenants who were keeping the apartments to make hundreds of dollars a month. This prevents rent-stabilized units that have actually been vacated by the tenant from being put back into the long-term housing pool.

    The current perception is that the City is very lax on enforcement, which just encourages more violations. The City needs to crack down on this, not relax the laws and make it worse.

    The City has not presented a way to guarantee that the tenant will be present during all short-term stays to prevent disturbing the other tenants, either. And as one who had to deal with them in our previous building, I can assure you it is very disruptive.

    People who own their own homes who want to rent out a room should be allowed to do so. But tenants in apartments can get an approved roommate if they need to share expenses.

  11. Well, SaveWeho, of course I think it is you who just doesn’t get it. You seem to be overlooking the guests of neighbors who do what you THINK airbnb guests, who are hosted by one of your neighbors, would do. Remember, your neighbor would be HOSTING the guests, which means your neighbor is there in the apartment. The things you keep saying sound like you don’t realize that we’re not talking about people who would be in a unit in your building without the full-time resident being present. We all agree that short-term guests alone in a rented unit that the assigned tenant doesn’t live in is bad on every level; but that’s not what we’re talking about.

    We all have gone through hard times financially that often are of no fault of our own. Imagine having lived in a rent-stableized apartment for years and then lose your job. You know that in the foreseeable future things will work out, but in the meantime you’ve gotta do something to manage all your living expenses. The old adage, “leverage what you’ve got” applies here. There is a spare bedroom you can use for short term guests that will carry you through until you get back on your feet again. I wonder if you would say the same thing to someone who will lose the home they have owned for years; “they are living above their means and shouldn’t be there in the first place” (those are your words). You are “clutching your pearls” over an imaginary issue that is, bottom line, nothing that is going to affect your life at all. Lighten up.

  12. David, I just read your article and I think the math doesn’t support your headline.
    In your article you mention that there are really only about 839 unique listings for STR units and of those 40% are not being rented for various reasons. Doing the math that leaves only 503 units in Weho being rented out. You then mentioned that only 75% of that number are actually apartments and condos, so now there are really only 375 apartments/condos (not houses) that are doing STR. You never mentioned how many of those are actually Rent Stabilized apartments and finally, is 375 properties really 60% of all the Rent Stabilized units in Weho? I think your figures are misleading.

  13. You’re just wrong on this @blueeyedboy. Having different people come in every night on a rotating schedule is just DIFFERENT than people that live in a unit. It just is and I’m sorry you can’t see the difference. And on a side note..if a person “has” to use their residence as a way to make income to live there…then they are living above their means and shouldn’t be there in the first place. Its just so disrespectful to so many other people.

  14. Interesting statistics. Question: Who might be the people in charge of (apartment owners?) who are “renting out” these units to short term renters? Who might be renting out “whole houses” (owners of the houses)? It is residents who are paying rent-controlled rents but renting to receive additional income under the table? Is it owners of the buildings to make money?

    It seems to me there are long-term implications of having residents who are not really residents and who don’t participate in the various activities/commissions/political activities/non-profits, etc. that is what West Hollywood is all about–the essential character of West Hollywood? Does that matter? I am just wondering because I don’t know really what is going on.

    My experience: I did have for a short time a couple of years ago, 2 ‘short term’ rentals for a few weeks each) living across the hall from me, which I didn’t know about until I saw strange people coming and going. One of them talked constantly on their cell phone at their window 3 feet from my bedroom and kept me awake nights. And I didn’t like the idea of “strangers” I didn’t know coming and going 3 feet from my front door.

    When you have a new neighbor who moves in, there is an unspoken respect for each other, and a relationship of respect (usually) develops. In my particular instance I did not like the short term arrangements and found it more than a bit unsettling, I became much more guarded about who I opened my door to, I took extra precautions with locking up. My home is a sacred safe place to me, as old-fashioned as that may seem.

    If I were to move, I would never ever consider a move to a place that contained short-term rentals within the building. In the “olden” days there were “welcome wagons” who actually welcomed new people into a neighborhood with gifts of food and/or a plant, etc. in anticipation of friendship developing. Those days are gone as the saying goes.

    We have become a mobile society–maybe this is the future revealing itself now??? (I have to add it is sort of like having the “orange one” in the White House who doesn’t belong there. Hopefully he is a short-term rental.)

  15. SaveWeho, guests of my neighbors can do the same thing …. and do. I see a lot of passive-aggressiveness in you “anti” people. I could get a roommate who might make a little noise, or marry someone who has a couple small kids and move them in with me and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. And really ……. how loud and disruptive is the sound of rolling luggage anyway? If you are that sensitive to the sounds that are to be expected in any multi-unit building, you don’t need to live in one. Sheesh!!!

  16. @blueeyedboy: Cause when you’re the neighbor that shares a wall with the new “hotel”…it makes a big difference. Visitors to the city are certainly different than the routines of people that live there. Doors slamming, Luggage rolling. Going out and doing activities. Coming back late cause they’re on vacation. It matters. And I still dont believe the owners of the said condo’s or apartments are really there.

  17. Gary Ban, I agree that renting out whole units without the host present is a big problem, and for the reason you stated, but I absolutely cannot agree that sharing your home, whether owned or rented, is anybody’s business.

    When a home is shared in the way we are talking about it here in a multi-unit building, and a neighbor says, “It’s like a hotel here!” I want to scream. A hotel is renting out LOTS of rooms; an airbnb host is renting out only one room, so how can there be that much foot traffic in a building from one airbnb guest? Some of my neighbors in my building have friends visiting daily, which is their right, so how is an airbnb guest any more disruptive than frequent guests of tenants in the same building?

  18. The city MUST crack down on this before there isnt an affordable home left in the city. Up the fines dramatically, watch airbnb and misterbnb daily and start running stings and this bullshxt will stop.

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