Is it legal to rent a guest house?

4 Replies


I'm thinking about purchasing a single family home with a guest house. I would like to find out if it is legal to rent a guest house in the city of Los Angeles, CA?

I understand that guest house needs to be built with permits and all that but I want to make sure that it is legal to rent them once they are built with appropriate permits.


i think that depends on the zoning you can look that up on I believe. You can call in to city planning if I remember correctly. Good luck.

Also, if you can rent it out, make sure you check to see if it would fall under rent control. Single family homes are exempt from rent control, but duplexes are not, and a guest house may be considered a second unit and therefore subject to rent control. Also, if you rent out a single family home room by room, then it also falls under rent control, so this situation could be similar as well.

@Alma: That's a great website, I only wish I knew how to read and dissect all the codes/information that the website pulls up, are there any resources or threads to help with that?

@Mike Grayford, you make a good point, I checked and it will definitely fall under LA rent control if it is built prior to 1978

Hi Ali,

I believe there are the links you're looking for:

- Zoning of an address : (you can click on the zoning code for more info on what it means)

- This is a zoning code cheat sheet that I always have with me (in my car, on my phone, computer, and tablet...just in case) :

Best regards,


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