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Why L.A.'s new Airbnb ordinance — or just about any other city regulation — is doomed to fail

Why L.A.'s new Airbnb ordinance — or just about any other city regulation — is doomed to fail
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin speaks moments before he and his colleagues on Dec. 11 unanimously passed an ordinance that he wrote regulating Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Regulation of home rentals and of scooters and of street vendors all demonstrate the dysfunction of our city government and the futility of trying to control a marketplace — and not just because each of these efforts takes years to reach fruition. (“L.A.’s new Airbnb ordinance is already at risk of being undermined,” Opinion, Dec. 27)

These regulation efforts are an utter waste of time simply because there is never going to be sufficient enforcement of any of these regulations to stop people from doing what sufficient demand makes personally profitable.

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The City Council should stick to changing holiday names and plastic straw bans and issuing thank you certificates, all things that get done quickly and don’t interfere too significantly with our daily lives.

Jeffrey C. Briggs, Hollywood

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To the editor: I am shocked that city leaders would even contemplate the idea of allowing tenants in rent-controlled units to “home share” by listing their dwellings on Airbnb.

This is ridiculous. You cannot have it both ways. Accepting a government-subsidized apartment and making money off it seems to derail the purpose of rent control itself — to house people who are the most needy, not to create an enterprise that undermines the system.

Our city leaders need to wake up. And, by the way, while they’re at it, they should stop accepting political donations from short-term home rental companies.

Peter David Harris, Los Angeles

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