Nearly a year after City Council Member Tim Burgess first introduced legislation to regulate Seattle’s booming short-term rental market, the city is once again discussing how best to manage Airbnb, VRBO and other short-term rental platforms. The conversation centers around how to balance residents’ opportunity to make money renting out their homes and the possible exacerbation of Seattle’s housing crisis .
The council heard lots of comment from the companies that own the platforms, rental hosts and housing advocates, but ultimately didn’t act on last year’s legislation. Late last month, Burgess announced a proposal for revised short-term rental legislation that takes a more lenient approach to regulating hosts who rent out their primary home or a second home, while cracking down on commercial operators who, in some cases, are taking entire apartment buildings off the long-term rental market and listing them on Airbnb.
Under Burgess’ 2016 legislation, hosts renting out their primary residence or a mother-in-law unit on the same property could do so for as many nights a year as they wanted, so long as they registered for an operator’s license. Hosts renting out a non-primary residence were limited to just 90 nights per year, theoretically deterring them from choosing […]