L.A. Councilman Wants to Further Penalize People Who Rent Out to Large Parties

Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion today that seeks to increase penalties against property owners who skirt building and safety rules or city laws, such as the Los Angeles party house ordinance. 

Ryu said large house parties have increased in recent weeks, in violation of COVID-19 public health orders and the city's party house ordinance, which became law in 2018. "Despite a pandemic that has killed thousands in Los Angeles, some homeowners are choosing to put everyone at risk by renting out their homes to massive house parties,'' Ryu said. "This is irresponsible bordering on deadly, and it must be stopped. Whether it takes shutting off utilities or revoking their permits, we must do what it takes to shut these party houses down.''

Penalties could include water and power shutoff, permit prohibitions or having a certificate of occupancy held or revoked, according to the motion. The city's party house ordinance prohibits any large and unruly
gathering "which threatens or interferes with the public health, safety or welfare'' of the public, Ryu said. That law includes a series of escalating fines on both the party host and homeowner, as well as possible misdemeanor charges for repeat offenders.

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Ryu's motion seeks to bring the Department of Building and Safety, Department of City Planning, Department of Water and Power, and the Housing and Community Investment Department together to identify code violations that threaten public health and well-being. The motion further requests the city attorney to draft an ordinance based on the recommendations to hold property owners accountable for illegal parties held at their locations that threaten public health. It was not immediately clear which council committee would first hear Ryu's motion.

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