People v. Venice Suites, LLC

Facts: A landlord of a multi-unit residential property rents out units to long-term tenants and to transient guests on a short-term basis. The property is located in a multi-unit residential zone allowing the use of a property as either as an apartment or hotel. The landlord annually pays the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) fee, obtains tax registration certificates and pays business taxes for the use of the property as a hotel and apartment. The landlord applies to the planning department to exclusively use the property for transient occupants staying 30 days or less. The application is denied.

Claim: The state seeks to prevent the sort-term rental of units in the property, claiming this use is not permitted since zoning prohibits the short-term rental of apartment units in a multi-unit dwelling zone.

Counterclaim: The landlord claims they may rent units in the property for short-term stays by transient guests since this use complies with the local rent stabilization ordinance which does not regulate the length or type of occupancy in an apartment unit.

Holding: A California appeals court holds the landlord of a multi-unit apartment complex may rent out units for any length of time since the local ordinance does not regulate the length of occupancy for apartment units in a multi-unit dwelling zone. [People v. Venice Suites, LLC (2021) 71 CA5th 715]

Read People v. Venice Suites, LLC in full here.

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Property Management

Chapter 58: Residential rent control