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Posts from February 2019.
  • The industry is exploring ultra-short-term stays (in increments of minutes or hours) under startup Recharge, which allow hotels to rent out rooms for less than one day to people who need space for a quick nap. Recharge recently added private homes to its platform. We could see this model being useful for travelers with long layovers who need a place to leave bags and freshen up between flights. We’ll monitor to see if the concept gains traction. 
    ("Short-term rental platform Recharge adds private homes" on Inman, Jan 29, 2019)
  • The City of Victoria in British Columbia is ratcheting up its enforcement efforts against illegal short-term rentals. It started by educating short-term rental owners, then sending out warning letters, and is now preparing to dish out hefty fines to violators, which could amount to $500 per day. ("City of Victoria to start charging illegal short-term rental operators" on Vancouver Island Free Daily, Jan 21, 2019)

Other news:

Industry News

Florida Blacklists Airbnb Over Israeli Rental Policy, GC Denies Discrimination
Law.com - Legal News on Jan 29, 2019 (subscription required)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday prohibited state agencies from using the short-term rental service. DeSantis had earlier criticized Airbnb for its decision to not list properties in the West Bank area of Israel.

Will Berkshire Pot Shops Create More Income for Airbnb Hosts?
Spectrum Local News - New York Capital Region on Jan 23, 2019
Airbnb hosts in Berkshire County earned $9.8 million in 2018, serving nearly 62,000 visitors. With two recreational marijuana shops already open in Berkshire County, and the potential for more on the way, 1Berkshire CEO Jonathan Butler said it's an opportunity for even more green in the area. "We're a visitor destination and this has the potential to bring in another audience of visitors," Butler said. And Airbnb hosts like Andy agree. He offers a whole house in Housatonic on the app, just a few minutes away from the shop in Great Barrington.

Regulation & Legal Developments

Ogden residents vote to regulate short-term rentals
Las Vegas Review Journal - Business on Jan 31, 2019
The Ogden high-rise in downtown Las Vegas, a case in point in the fight against illegal vacation rentals, has almost entirely relied on the city for policing for a decade. But now for the first time, enforcement is possible in-house. A supermajority of residents at the condominium tower voted to allow the homeowners association to regulate illegitimate short-term rentals, targeting a point of contention that had never been addressed by policy since the building opened in 2008. By a 189-29 vote as of Tuesday, the residents agreed to a revision to The Ogden’s bylaws that creates background checks for long-term lessees, boosts funding for expanded security and institutes a fine system for units found to be operating in the home-sharing space without the proper licensing from the city. 

Va. bill would override Fairfax rule limiting short-term rentals to 60 days 
The Washington Post - Local News on Jan 30, 2019
The debate over how to regulate the booming short-term-rental market found new life in the Virginia General Assembly this week under a bill that seeks to override how the state’s largest jurisdiction chose to handle the issue. Legislation on its way to the Senate floor would triple the amount of time homeowners in Fairfax County are allowed to take in tenants under Airbnb and similar websites, replacing a 60-day annual cap approved by the county last year with a 180-day limit.

Airbnb critics say blocked law would save housing units
Crain's NY - Retail News on Jan 22, 2019
A new report from critics of Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms claims New York City could lose nearly 11,000 housing units if new regulations on the companies don't go forward. A federal judge this month blocked a New York City law that would have subjected Airbnb and HomeAway to reveal detailed information about their business. The ruling comes as the companies challenge the new law in court. The groups New York Communities for Change and Tenants PAC issued a report on Tuesday that analyzed government and rental data. It found that without the law, 10,800 units could be diverted for use as short-term rentals. The groups maintain that home-sharing platforms drive up rental prices by reducing available residential units.

D.C. mayor declines to sign unanimously approved bill regulating Airbnb activity
Curbed - Washington DC on Jan 18, 2019
According to Mayor Muriel Bowser, the bill is overly restrictive and may be challenged in court. In a signal of her disapproval, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has opted to leave unsigned a bill that prohibits homeowners from renting out, on a short-term basis, homes other than their primary residences. The legislation, which the D.C. Council unanimously green-lighted last November, also limits the total number of days per year that homeowners may rent out their primary residences when they are absent (for so-called “vacation stays”), to 90 in most cases. 

Enforcement

Oceanside to crack down on short-term rentals with new program
San Diego Union-Tribune News on Jan 28, 2019
Oceanside plans to better regulate its short-term vacation rentals by hiring a full-time enforcement officer, requiring licenses and annual fees, and streamlining the tax collection process. The proposal outlined by first-term Councilman Chris Rodriguez got the City Council’s unanimous approval Wednesday, along with the stipulation that details of the program be worked out by city staffers and ready for the council’s consideration in 120 days. Like San Diego, Del Mar and many other tourist destinations, Oceanside has been looking for years for better ways to regulate short-term rentals.

Complaints Over Rowdy Partiers Could Revoke This Airbnb Manor's Business License
Colorado Public Radio - News on Jan 17, 2019
As communities grapple with how to regulate short-term home rentals on sites like Airbnb, residents in one Denver neighborhood gathered at a hearing Thursday to ask the city to revoke their neighbor’s license to rent. Garth Yettick has been renting his property on Marion Street, “Marion Manor,” through sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and others since summer 2017. He argues the million-dollar home is his primary residence, while neighbors have said they hardly see him at the house.



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