VENICE BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles’ City Attorney is taking action against the owners of four properties over allegations they unlawfully converted and operated rent-stabilized housing as short-term rentals or hotels.
“We need these rent-stabilized units so we can have places that are decent to house people in our city,” Mike Feuer said at a press conference Monday.
Four complaints were filed against owners of four separate buildings, three of which were civil complaints, one was criminal.
The civil cases allege the property owners are operating and advertising as hotels.
CBS2 visited two of the properties named in the complaints, specifically Venice Suites and Venice Beach Suites.
Both are located on Ocean Front Walk and have signs in plain view in which they are advertised as “hotels.”
The news station attempted to speak with both owners but was asked to leave the property.
In Hollywood, the owner of a four-unit property has been charged with six misdemeanor counts in a criminal case, including zoning violations and illegal use without a permit.
Though the owner wasn’t around, a guest said he regularly rents the apartment during business trips.
Meanwhile, back in Venice Beach, guests didn’t seem to mind they were staying in allegedly illegal hotels.
“I think they ought to set up as a legit business, but as for being able to stay wherever you want, I mean if want to sell part of my house to someone to stay in it, I’m OK with that,” said Kyle Crowley, a guest in Venice Beach.
Feuer hopes the cases will discourage other landlords from turning their apartments into illegal hotels.