Skip to main content

Councilwoman Traci Park Looks to Tackle Predatory 'Van Lords' with New Motion

Posted on 05/16/2023
RV by side of the road

LOS ANGELES - Councilwoman Traci Park presented a motion Tuesday aiming to tighten regulations on RV sales and leasing in public rights-of-way. The action responds to growing concern about the rising trend of 'van-lords' renting RVs to the unhoused.

"These practices capitalize on the vulnerability of our homeless community, reduce available parking, and create significant life safety issues," said Park. 

Park is asking for an amendment to Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Section 80.73.1, which currently prohibits reserving any street, parking space, or other public space for business activities related to new and used vehicles, but does not explicitly cover RVs.

Park's proposed amendment seeks to include RVs in the types of vehicles prohibited from conducting business in public rights-of-way and affirm RV lessors’ responsibility to adhere to state codes, including Section 18027.3 of California's Health and Safety Code and Section 14604(a) of California's Vehicle Code.

"The state codes are in place to ensure safety standards are met," Park said. "Our motion aims to close loopholes and identify necessary regulations"

Park is urging the Council to task the City Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Street Services (BSS), and other necessary City departments, with creating an escalating fine structure. This structure would impose penalties on vehicle owners that correspond to administrative code enforcement citations.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's 2022 Point-In-Time Count indicates that approximately 6,500 individuals are living in 4,000 RVs across the city, a 40% increase since 2018. This group now comprises 22% of the city's total unsheltered homeless population.