The debate on property owners’ rights, local economic growth, neighborhood disruptions, and diminished affordable housing opportunities wages on in the news. These latest regulatory activities caught our attention.

Boston Airbnb listings dropped by a third in December after Airbnb required city-issued registration numbers to be displayed on rental listings. This is per their agreement with the city when new short term rental laws were put into effect in September 2019.

Airbnb listings dropped from 5,500 to 3,780 over the course of the month, according to data provided to the city by Airbnb.

A major goal of the new law was to cut down on the number of short term rental units, returning them to the tight housing market. So far, 1,978 people tried to register with the city, with more than 700 applications approved and over 800 rejected.

Phoenix has put in a new regulation that requires Airbnb, VRBO or other short term rental property owners to register with the city. An additional stipulation is that owners need to have emergency contact information visible inside the property, and if contacted, they need to respond within 60 minutes.

Under state law, cities in Arizona aren’t allowed to control home-sharing in residential neighborhoods, but a new bill could change that.

West Vancouver, in its effort to save a heritage house, has approved the property for short term rentals in a district that otherwise has not allowed short term rentals. Referring to The Boyd House, Councilmember Nora Gambioli said, “If we want to support heritage structures, then this is the cost. This is a really delicate balancing act that we keep having to do. If we do not support this application, the house will likely be demolished, and a home of maximum size will appear in its place. And I don’t think that’s the way to go.”

Another Councilmember added that with no hotels in West Vancouver, the introduction of short-term rentals fills a need while saving the Boyd House.

Annapolis passed a short term rental bill this past Monday.  It requires anyone who wants to rent their property on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and others to apply for a license after months of contentious debate.

Des Moines proposes a bill to relax short term rentals after instituting legislation in September 2019 that required renters to have lived in the property they’re renting out, limit the number of units one can operate, the distance between those units, and how long a housing unit can be used as a rental. 

After feedback from the community, the city questioned whether some of these regulations were too strict on the more than 300 short term rentals in the area. They are planning to eliminate some of those rules while keeping others to help protect the community. The city will continue to require a permit and to limit the rentals to only 10% of apartment complexes. This measure is to ensure adequate housing supply and keep the rental market price affordable.

Des Moines is among a growing number of cities, such as San Diego, that have rescinded some regulations after implementation due to community feedback.

Floridians polled showed a majority want a state, not local short term rental regulation. A mid-December phone poll of 625 registered voters showed that 84% of those surveyed back the right to rent out homes or properties on a secondary basis. About 55% of those polled (including 63% of Democrats) believe the state should regulate vacation rentals.

The polling is timely given legislation is being considered in both the House and the Senate that would protect such private property rights.

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Categories: Regulations