The Real Deal New York

Short-term rental advocacy group hopes to use legislative blueprint to influence city laws

February 25, 2013 09:00AM

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Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

Four major providers of short-term rental services have banded together to create a legislative blueprint that they hope will guide how cities set short-term rental regulations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and FlipKey announced today that they have launched the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center, a website that will aggregate short-term-rental-friendly regulations from around the country. The group calls for cities to tax short-term rentals in a manner akin to how hotels and inns are taxed. Cities that ban short-term rentals, the group said in a press release, stand to lose out on significant tax revenues, and current regulation was more than sufficient. 

“We believe existing ‘good neighbor’ laws provide sufficient protection against any disruptive behavior on the part of long-term residents or their guests,” the group’s statement said.

Earlier this month, a New York state judge ruled in the city’s favor on a lawsuit that it had brought against Smart Apartments, barring the large scale-operator of short-term rentals from operating or advertising residential apartment units as limited-occupancy hotel rooms.

At a conference at NYU’s Schack Institute last week, Chris Corcoran, a representative from the mayor’s data analytics team, said that more open access to information would be the catalyst for updating archaic laws such as the one on short-term rentals, as The Real Deal previously reported. [WSJ]  –Hiten Samtani

  • VHKW

    The City of Key West in Florida has a workable “transient rental ordinance” that allows short term rentals with specific licensing required. Short term vacation rentals are limited and regulated by City Code Enforcement, generally according to specific areas in Old Town neighborhoods. There is a system in place for collecting a 5% County bed tax and 7.5% State sales tax. The ordinance is a compromise, of sorts, that seems to work effectively to regulate short term rentals in a small community that is driven by tourist dollars, but also has a thriving ‘year around’ population that includes families raising children who can be disturbed by a ‘revolving door’ of tourists next door.

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