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Los Angeles May Legalize ‘Bootleg’ Apartments

‘Bootleg’ Apartments

Digested from “LA Has a Plan to Legalize Bootleg Apartments” Curbed Los Angeles (5/3/16) Chiland, Elijah 

Between 2010 and 2015 1,765 illegal dwelling units were taken off the rental market in Los Angeles and the occupants were evicted, according to MyNewsLA.com. This loss is estimated to have cost the city almost 10 percent of its net housing creation.

Recently, the LA City Council approved a plan to keep many illegal units on the rental market. The council asked the city attorney to draft a law that would only apply to units that make use of nonresidential space in multifamily buildings, sometimes referred to as “bootlegged” units, Curbed Los Angeles reported. Currently, owners have to spend $20,000 for a zoning variance to bring illegal units into compliance.

Property owners seeking amnesty must agree to rent the apartments to moderate and lower-income earners for 55 years. Some landlords have said they aren’t willing to accept such terms. "No one is going to apply," Harold Greenberg, Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles board member, told the LA Times.

The city is hoping that offering property owners an easier path to make their units legal will entice some owners to do so.

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