By Emilie St. John
INGLEWOOD — The City Council adopted short-term rent regulations and amended the current moratorium during the July 12 City Council meeting.
The regulations create guidelines for both short-term rentals in a hosted unit for those renting out only a room and vacation rentals, which are unhosted and allow the renting of the entire property.
To qualify as a short-term rental, the ordinance requires the host resides in the dwelling for a minimum of nine months out of a 12-month period.
To qualify as a vacation rental, the host must be a resident of Inglewood for the last 10 years prior to submitting their application, the host’s primary residence must also be in Inglewood which they have owned for the last five consecutive years prior to submitting their application, and the vacation rental must be owned by the host for at least 365 days prior to submitting their application.
Vacation rentals must also be within 1,000 feet of the hosts primary residence.
The ordinance does not allow short-term rentals with five or more units on a parcel and excludes accessory dwelling units.
If the property is either a condominium or has two to four units, the property must be owned by a natural person, as opposed to a business entity. The home owners association also would be required to grant approval should the property be governed by one.
The moratorium was amended to include the distance provision, and allow current hosts, in violation of the moratorium, be given until Sept. 30 to transmit transient occupancy taxes to the city. The city’s current transient occupancy tax is 15.5%. The fee structure is tiered.
The hosted short-term rental application fee is $500 while unhosted application fees are $600. Unhosted rentals are capped at 90 days out of the year.
A representative from Better Neighborhoods LA urged the city not to adopt the regulations allowing unhosted rentals.
The ordinance was the result of the city taking action when an unregulated vacation rental that was rented in late January 2021 for a party that turned into a crime scene after it was shot up.
The mother of Breahna Stines and Marneysha Hamilton, 25, called into the meeting to express her disappointment of how the city portrayed the victims and the lack of information being provided by the Inglewood Police Department.
“I am calling on the matter of four children that were brutally murdered when there were only seven people in the house, that you labeled a house party with only three walking away,” said Tiffney Stines. “That was not an isolated event, and if it was then why are people still walking around; no reward money or updates.” Targeting her comments on Mayor James Butts, Stines asked “Why you, James personally thought it was OK to say our kids were gang members and why aren’t you giving out a reward? This crime was committed by thugs.”
The mayor expressed his condolences and provided more information on the information the city has so far.
“The information we had from the surviving member was the victims had gang involvement and the investigation showed the shooters were gang involved and the house was rented for a party and we meant no disrespect or insults but sometimes we have to say things as they are,” Butts said. “As far as updates, families are updated as we receive new information that is disclosable.”
The short-term rental ordinance passed 4-0.
“I want to make it clear the council’s intent was two-fold for enough housing to be available but at the same time we didn’t want to allow [property owners] with capital to invest to turn housing into short-term rentals,“ Butts said. “Residents have waited and should have the opportunity to rent out their space for short-term rentals and this is the opportunity to provide balance.
The ordinance is scheduled to take effect in 30 days.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at email@example.com.