On Tuesday, the D.C Council passed a unanimous vote imposing strict limits in the country on Airbnb and other short-term home-sharing companies.
If Mayor Muriel E. Bowser signs the bill, property owners will be prohibited from renting out their second homes on a short-term basis. Furthermore, they would also be barred from renting out the spare basements or rooms in their main residence for a period exceeding 90 days in a year when the host is away.
Despite Bowser thinking the bill is too restrictive, she has not threatened to veto it partly due to the fact the bill has passed with enough votes to supersede a veto.
Promptly, Airbnb went ahead and denounced the actions carried out by the council stating that the D.C Council’s vote is the most recent example of misleading tactics aimed at passing fiscally reckless home sharing policies. In a statement released by Airbnb’s spokesperson Crystal Davis, she indicated the council’s actions accomplished what appeared impossible by concurrently denying resident of D.C. $64 million in additional income annually, while still levying D.C. taxpayers a bill of $104 million.
Moreover, Davis stated Airbnb would still be wholly committed to guaranteeing home sharing is secure in our country’s capital. Nevertheless, he did not indicate what specific actions the firm plans to take, despite the company having previously declaring it might make the case directly to the voters with a ballot initiative in 2020.
Airbnb has also filed a complaint against the city of Boston on Tuesday over a law which contains some provisions comparable to those of D.C.’s legislation.
However, supporters of this crackdown stated the short-term rentals are making an already overheated real estate market more difficult for prospective renters and buyers. Therefore, they feel the suppression is necessary for such a city.
Consequently, district residents who are in search of a home to purchase will now not be competing with investors seeking to list them on the profitable short-term rental platforms, a statement that Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5) detailed on the authored bill just after the vote.
The passing of the bill was after a spell of last-minute discussions among the lawmakers on whether or not the law was too strict. Additionally, members of the council suggested amendments which would soften some of the harsher provisions in the legislation.
The only change that was approved was a measure permitting homeowners to apply for an exception the annual cap of the bill on the amount of time you can rent a unit.
Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), a D.C. Council member is the one who introduced the amendment stating its purpose was to accommodate District residents serving in either the diplomatic corps or military since they could go for lengthy periods suddenly.
The council’s passed measure would start taking effect on October 1, 2019. Subsequently, this would allow the city adequate time to come up with a licensing and implementation agency. Moreover, it would avail more time to resolve discrepancies under which majority of the short-term rentals are technically violating zoning regulations.