New Los Angeles City Regulations Every Relocating Employee Should Know

Several new Los Angeles city regulations have a direct impact on residents. Some of the most recent regulations cover topics such as short-term rentals (also referred to as “AirBnB”), Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Street Vending, and Ride-share Scooters (“e-scooters”). Companies planning to relocate new hires and transferees to the city should provide information about these regulations. Providing city reports and information including new regulations will help ensure compliance and increase transferee satisfaction.

What are the New Los Angeles City Regulations?

GMS spoke with Erik R. Brown of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Realtor®, TV host, speaker, and author of “One in a Million: Everything You Need to Know to Find the Best Realtor®.” Erik agreed to share his knowledge of new Los Angeles city regulations that every relocating employee should know.

Several of the new Los Angeles city regulations will directly impact relocating employees. They include changes to temporary and rental housing, sales of food and goods on city streets, and new forms of shared transportation.

1. Short-Term Rentals (AirBnB) Los Angeles City Regulations

This is Los Angeles’ first attempt to regulate the market for short-term rentals. Sometimes referred to as “AirBnB,” (a popular website that lists short-term rentals and allows guests to rent them), hosts who want to arrange for short-term rentals must:

  1. Register their short-term rental with the city’s planning department, at a cost of $89
  2. Provide a code of conduct to guests with rules and regulations regarding noise, sound, and nighttime events

There are several restrictions as to what type of residence can participate in these rentals. Also, time limits apply, and renters cannot participate without permission of their landlord. An option exists for longer home sharing beyond the 120 days in a calendar year, with higher fees and additional requirements for hosts.

2. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Los Angeles City Regulations

ADUs allow homeowners to apply for a permit to add an accessory use for their main single family residence. The ADU must have a full kitchen and bathroom, as well as:

  1. Be in a property that is zoned R-A, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, A-1 or A-2 (or any other zone that allows single-family residences by right)
  2. One single family residence (legal) exists on site
  3. The ADU complies with the development standards of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance

Homeowners who apply for an ADU must also:

  1. Provide a site plan application to the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning
  2. Submit copies of the Building Description Blank/Slip from Los Angeles County Assessor’s office
  3. Submit copies of the building permits from the Los Angeles County Building & Safety office

3. Street Vending Los Angeles City Regulations

For several years, small business owners and entrepreneurs have been selling food and products from sites along streets, known as street vending. Most of these activities have not been legal. As a result, those selling could face fines, citations, and confiscation of their equipment.

Following a multi-year effort and spurred by a change in California state law, street vending has now become legal in Los Angeles. Cities are responding by creating licensing and permitting requirements. Santa Monica passed an emergency ordinance establishing its Comprehensive Sidewalk Vending Program in April of this year. Los Angeles created its Sidewalk Vending Permit System in November of 2018. Some street vendors must leave newly created no-vending zones where they have previously set up shop. Also, street vendors must apply for permits to legally operate within the city.

4. Ride-Share Scooters (“e-scooters”) Los Angeles City Regulations

Los Angeles is currently experimenting with e-scooters. These scooters are part of the city’s one-year “Dockless Mobility Program.” The program is the city’s pilot effort to regulate and manage dockless scooters and bicycles.

Los Angeles has over 30,000 scooters that may be part of its pilot program, with around 20,000 total vehicles in deployment. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is collecting data and working to make operators follow rules, including:

  1. Citywide cap of 3,000 scooters per company
  2. Potential to add 2,500 more scooters if the companies operate in disadvantaged locations
  3. Potential to add 5,000 more scooters if operating in San Fernando Valley disadvantaged communities
  4. Speed limit of 15 mph for all scooters
  5. All companies must carry commercial general liability insurance in the amount of $5 million dollars
  6. Companies must work with local council offices to “geo-fence” scooters to prevent parking in certain areas, if requested

There have been reports of injuries, with data showing the following trends:

  1. Most common injuries are to rider’s heads
  2. Large numbers of riders who receive injuries are minors
  3. Low rate of helmet usage for all riders

What Does This Mean?

Companies operating in Los Angeles with new hires or relocating employees to the city should be aware of new Los Angeles city regulations. These regulations may impact transferees and their family members who relocate to the city.

New hires and employees relocating to Los Angeles should have access to as much information as possible about the destination. Employers should ensure they provide a number of resources to assist transferees relocating to the city who may not be familiar with local laws, rules, and regulations.

What Should Employers do About New Los Angeles City Regulations?

Employers with transferees who are moving to Los Angeles should share the new Los Angeles city regulations. This will help transferees and their family members learn about how the city is addressing issues that may be important to them.

Employers should also provide as much information about Los Angeles as possible. They should work with a qualified and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC) that can provide a wealth of valuable resources to assist relocating employees and their family members. Destination spotlights that highlight many aspects of Los Angeles are helpful resources to share with transferees during their pre-decision process. Video destination spotlights are an excellent resources to visually show employees and their family members their new location.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of corporate relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to identify and share valuable information with transferees. Our team can help your company share useful information on new Los Angeles city regulations so transferees to the city will have peace of mind as they go through their relocation process.

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Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s need for information on new Los Angeles city regulations to share with your transferees, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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