As reported in yesterday’s Washington Post and in and on WAMU (http://wamu.org/story/17/01/31/new-bill-put-strict-limits-airbnb-home-sharing-services-d-c/ ) CM McDuffie is sponsoring a bill that would put strict limits on Airbnb.
As many of you know by now, the bill would require that Airbnb hosts to acquire a new business license created specifically for short term rentals and it would also limit them to renting out a single housing unit — whether a room, basement or a full house — and require that they also live on the property. The bill would offer one exception for vacation rentals of full apartments or homes, allowing those to be rented for up to 15 days per year without the owner being present. For any violation, both the host and the home-sharing service could face steep fines: from $1,000 to $7,000 for violations by the host, and $1,000 for each illegal booking made by the home-sharing service.
This bill will limit our options on what we can effectively do with our homes and as a result the city’s economy will be hurt in the end. The reason that many DC hosts have done well with Airbnb is because we offer an affordable and personalized alternative to hotels, particularly for families or people traveling in groups. If the bill passes then hotels will get most of the bookings again and those who can’t afford them -or don’t like them as an alternative, will simply choose not to travel to DC. We pay occupancy taxes, these moneys will be lost as well as lots of moneys spent on food and attractions by the tourists. Does the city of Washington DC really want to lose all of these revenue sources? Apparently so.
I have contacted my Ward CM as well as CM McDuffie to protest this bill and I encourage anyone affected by this situation to do the same. Any and all thoughts on how to fight this are appreciated.