Critics in Silver Lake say some Airbnb hosts are running virtual hotels, packing homes with throngs of visitors whose sheer presence alters the community feel.
“They’re popping up everywhere,” says Scott Plante, a neighborhood councilman. “They’re all over Silver Lake, and it’s the volume of these things. There has to be some sort of balance.”
Airbnb rentals violate zoning laws, which prohibit rentals shorter than 30 days, except for licensed hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, council member Anne-Marie Johnson said.
Johnson suspects that many Airbnb hosts are hiding behind false claims of financial desperation.
“People have jumped onto that urban myth: ‘We had to do it or we wouldn’t survive,’ ” she says.
The potential for bigger profits has prompted some landlords to transform long-term apartments into short-term Airbnb units.