Los Angeles May Be Close To Cracking Down On ‘Vanlords’ Who Rent Cars And RV To Unhoused People

Los Angeles May Be Close To Cracking Down On ‘Vanlords’ Who Rent Cars And RV To Unhoused People

Image: CBS News Los Angeles YouTube

Some of the thousands of people both in the city of Los Angeles and across the county are renting street-parked RVs, vans and trucks from scurrilous “vanlords,” just to have a place to call home. Now LA County might actually do something about the unsafe and exploitative practice.

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The identities of these vanlords are largely unknown to officials. What is known is that there are thousands of them; at last count, 11,500 people were living in 6,500 RVs owned by so-called vanlords, LAlist reports. These owners pick up these RVs for pennies at local auctions and then rent them out to unhoused individuals for hundreds of dollars a month. The whole grift is largely unregulated, which is why officials want to get a handle on things. This all comes amid an increase in people living in RVs, up 31 percent over the last three years.

In a motion put forth on October 17 by county officials, it would first direct county staff “within 90 days with an analysis and recommendations for proposed County ordinances to curtail the selling, leasing, or renting of recreational vehicles (RV) and oversized vessels in the public right-of-way.” After that a vote on various ordinances would then begin to put an end to the practice. It’s similar to an ordinance being brought by the city of Los Angles in August, which seeks to dissuade both renters and vanlords, according to the LATimes:

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday backed an effort to regulate the leasing of RVs and crack down on so-called vanlords who rent them to homeless people.

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The council voted 12 to 0 in favor of directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would amend city code to include RVs among the types of vehicles that people are prohibited from leasing and renting while parked on public streets and other public spaces.

The ordinance would also add a requirement to city code that RV landlords comply with “relevant state and federal laws as it relates to the sale and lease of RVs.” State law requires RVs leased or rented in California to meet design and safety standards of the American National Standards Institute and the National Fire Protection Assn. And it would create an escalating system of fines for owners who violate the rules.

Officials may want to move quickly. Residents and business owners across the country have complained about the explosion of RVs. As the number of places where RVs can safely park without being towed has gone down, some RV renters and property owners have turned to extreme measures. Like the owner of an empty lot in the San Fernando Valley who had criminal charges brought against him over RV parking