City Council approves Party House Ordinance: Takes on unruly and unsafe party houses

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City Council today unanimously approved an ordinance to reign in out-of-control party houses in Los Angeles. The ordinance, which began as a motion introduced by Councilmember Ryu and supported by Councilmember Koretz on June 10, 2016, creates a series of escalating fines against party hosts and homeowners who either host or rent out their homes for massive gatherings that disturb neighbors, block the public right of way, and threaten public safety. 

“Today, we are putting public safety first and party houses on notice” Councilmember Ryu said. 

“The problem of residential homes being used as de facto nightclubs has been growing for years. It’s not just a nuisance in otherwise quiet neighborhoods - it is a real danger.”

The ordinance, which passed Planning and Land Use Management Committee on February 6 and Public Safety Committee on January 24, includes increasing fines up to $8,000. The ordinance also requires those who violate the ordinance to leave undisturbed a posted public notice for 30 days notifying neighbors of their unlawful conduct. 

The ordinance penalizes both party hosts and homeowners, which is meant to dissuade property owners from renting out their homes to professional party-throwers and reduce the likelihood of future violations, freeing up law enforcement personnel for other purposes.

“With this new ordinance, the party is over for these completely out of hand neighborhood headaches," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "With escalating fines into the thousands of dollars, this ordinance has the teeth to help us continue our house party prosecutions with greater effectiveness.” 

“Too often, we have seen people renting out their homes for the express purpose of turning it into a stage for elaborate events,” Councilmember Ryu said. “These aren’t barbeques or birthday parties - these are massive events with cover fees and throngs of people tossing cigarette butts in fire prone areas. It’s reckless, it’s irresponsible - and it stops today.”

The new law allows for escalating fines on party hosts and homeowners to ensure that hosts who throw unruly parties in multiple homes are increasingly cited for multiple offenses, and that property owners remain culpable for renting out their homes to party house operators. The fines are:

  • $100 for the first violation;
  • $500 for the second violation;
  • $1,000 for the third violation;
  • $2,000 for the fourth violation;
  • $4,000 for the fifth violation;
  • And $8,000 for the sixth and subsequent violation

Read the final ordinance here.