• Sasha Struthers

The L.A. Apartment Airbnb Scam


Everyone needs to stop Airbnb'ing their apartments! It is (1) not permitted in Los Angeles City or Santa Monica and (2) is morally reprehensible if you are doing so to scam people! And Airbnb'rs be aware of apartments listed on Airbnb as they are often a scam.


In light of COVID-19 and tenants defaulting on their rent they are starting to get very crafty. In California and Los Angeles there are multiple eviction moratoriums in place that protect a tenant who cannot pay their rent due to a COVID-19 related hardship. Since March 2020, tenants have been accumulating arrears on their rent that they are likely not going to pay back or wont be able to pay back for various reasons. Here comes the scam-

  • Tenant stops paying landlord.

  • Tenant (Airbnb Host) lists LA apartment on Airbnb.

  • Tenant then collects a sum of money from the Airbnb Renter for the duration of the renter's pre-planned stay. This could be months even.

  • Tenant then pockets the money (likely for a security deposit on a new apartment), moves out of the apartment or abandons the apartment and then leaves the Airbnb Renter and the Landlord high and dry.

This is very common in high income areas with high value rental properties typically in the city or beach communities.


In fact many localities already have laws in place to restrict Airbnb Hosts.


Los Angeles Requirements:

  1. Owns the residence.

  2. Owner lives in the residence at least 6 months out of the year.

  3. Can only rent the residence for a max of 120 days in a year.

Santa Monica Requirements:

  1. Owns the residence.

  2. Can only rent the residence for a max of 31 days at a time.

  3. Owner must be present in the residence during the stay.

If you are a landlord or Airbnb renter that experiences an Airbnb scam you should talk to an attorney to learn more about your recourse and if it is worth pursing the scammer. I give a free 15 minute consultations.


If you have any questions about this topic or other landlord-tenant law you may contact me by phone at (818) 306-0686 or by email at sasha@struthers.legal

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