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City (anti-Airbnb) Law Trumps Lease Term allowing short term rentals (Chen v. Kraft (2016) 243 Cal.App. 4th Supp 13)

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2016 | New Case Law |

The Appellate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court (Chen v Kraft (2016) 243 CA4th Supp 13) allowed a landlord to evict a tenant for running short-term rental business out of his residential rental unit in Los Angeles.

In Chen, the Court affirmed a summary judgment granting possession to the landlord EVEN THOUGH the lease explicitly gave written permission allowing the tenant to host guests through airbnb.com at the tenant’s discretion, without it violating any other rental lease restrictions.  This was a very unusual lease provision.  The landlord won because the rental violated other local ordinances regulating short-term rentals.

The court held that when a tenant violates such ordinances by using his or her unit for transient occupancy and receiving income from it, the landlord may bring an unlawful detainer action after giving a 3-day notice under general state law (CCP §1161(4)) if the tenant fails to cease his or her violation of the ordinance.

The reason the tenant lost is the local law trumped the lease making that lease provision allowing short term rental an illegal contract, so it was then unenforceable by the tenant who lost the eviction.

This Los Angeles case may not directly help say in San Francisco where its Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance §37.9(a)(4), states a landlord may not evict a tenant for illegal use of the unit based solely on a first-time violation of SF Adm C §41A (restricting short-term residential rentals) if the violation is cured within 30 days of written notice to the tenant.