LOS ANGELES – Today, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto announced that her office has filed a civil enforcement action against Ultimate Host, LLC, doing business as The Nightfall Group, a limited liability company based in Beverly Hills, along with its owner and operator Mokhtar Jabli (collectively, “Nightfall”), and three property owners who are alleged to have actively facilitated Nightfall’s conduct. The complaint alleges glaring and persistent violations of L.A. City’s Short Term Rental Ordinance (“STR”) and the City’s Party House Ordinance. Feldstein Soto alleges that Nightfall – through the hundreds of properties it rents on a short-term basis – is a considerable driver of the City’s party house problem. Within the last two years, the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) has been called to Nightfall-associated properties more than 250 times.
“These party houses have deleterious and serious effects on the quality of life for our City,” said Feldstein Soto. “They disrupt communities, violate noise ordinances until the wee hours of the morning, clog evacuation routes, and take valuable housing off the market. I expect this is the first of the enforcement actions we will need to bring.”
According to the complaint, Nightfall is a hosting platform as defined by the City’s STR Ordinance, charging as much as $16,000 per night for a short-term rental in the City. But unlike other platforms, Nightfall and its principal lease hundreds of properties and then offer those properties as short-term rentals. This is in clear violation of the STR Ordinance, which limits a person to operating only one short-term rental property at a time, and requires the property to be the person’s primary residence. In addition, operators of short-term rentals must register with the City’s Planning Department, and include a registration number that must be included on all advertised listings. Nightfall repeatedly violates these provisions.
The complaint also alleges that Nightfall uses and/or allows other people to use these short-term rentals as frequent party houses which, with excessive noise all night long, disruptive behavior, obstruction of our public right of way, litter and vandalism, greatly impact quality of life and are a threat to public safety. This is the very conduct that the L.A. City Council sought to prevent by approving the Party House Ordinance.
The City Attorney’s Office seeks to enjoin Nightfall and the named property owners from further harming the public through their continued violation of City ordinances and creation of public nuisances. The City Attorney’s Office also seeks penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation of each ordinance.
This litigation is being managed by attorneys in the newly formed Public Rights Branch of the City Attorney's Office. City Attorney Feldstein Soto created the Public Rights Branch to protect and enforce the rights of California residents in a wide range of legal matters including unfair or fraudulent business practices, consumer protection, environmental justice, nuisance abatement and intellectual property.
Civil Case #23STCV19069, Complaint
*Hearing is tomorrow, 8/16, at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 86 of the Mosk Courthouse.
Hydee Feldstein Soto is the 43rd Los Angeles City Attorney, elected in November 2022 and sworn into office in December 2022. Her team of nearly 1,000 legal professionals, including 500+ attorneys, carries out legal work for the City of Los Angeles at her direction and under her supervision. She is the first female City Attorney in L.A. history.