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California News

Los Angeles City Council votes to regulate ‘vanlords’ who rent motorhomes to homeless people

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a measure to regulate motorhome rentals in a bid to crack down on so-called “vanlords” who rent them to the homeless.

The council voted 12-0 in favor of the measure, which seeks to change the city’s code to include motorhomes among the types of vehicles banned from renting while parked on the streets and other public spaces.

It also adds a requirement to the city code that RV owners comply with “relevant state and federal laws regarding the sale and rental of RVs.” State law requires motorhomes rented or rented in California to meet the design and safety standards of the American National Standards Institute and the National Fire Protection Assn.

The measure creates an escalating system of fines for landlords who break the rules.

Last year’s annual homeless count showed nearly 6,500 people in Los Angeles lived in 4,000 motorhomes, a 40% increase since 2018.

People who reside in motorhomes often say the vehicles are their only option to avoid living on the streets during a housing crisis and owners say they provide a necessary service to help them. Proponents of the motion argued that it was necessary to impose rules on a growing company that has remained largely unregulated.

The resolution passed without comment from council on Tuesday. Councilor Traci Park, who introduced the motion, said in an interview earlier in the year that she had learned from visiting RV camps that there was a “thriving business in van rentals and motorhomes as living units”.

“As a city, we regulate our housing market a lot. Landlords in the City of Los Angeles are required to comply with many obligations to provide safe and livable housing,” Park said. “Yet we have these unscrupulous owners who buy, in many cases, dilapidated, unusable and often dangerous motorhomes and vans, which they in turn use as living units for vulnerable members of the community. . »

An amendment introduced by Councilwoman Eunisses Hernández asks the city attorney to report on whether to include a requirement that people who illegally rent RVs be required to pay their tenants’ moving expenses.

Also on Tuesday, Park introduced a separate motion seeking to explore the possibility of creating a program that would restrict living in motor homes and other oversized vehicles in residential areas, commercial corridors and other “sensitive” areas, while also designating certain streets where these vehicles would be allowed. authorized and where residents would have access to services such as showers, bathrooms and waste disposal.

California Daily Newspapers

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