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City Council Approves Regulations on Short-Term Rentals

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega City Council Approves Regulations on Short-Term RentalsPhoto via Pixabay.
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At their meeting on Monday night, Columbus City Council voted to approve regulations on short-term rentals and home-sharing in the city. The legislation comes after three public meetings on the issue.

Plenty of people have weighed in on the discussion, which has sought to balance the promotion of economic growth and tourism in the city with maintaining communities and ensuring the availability of affordable housing for Columbus residents.

The new regulations establish a system for hosts to register with the city; allow home sharing and short term rentals throughout the entire city; and devote tax revenue generated from short-term rentals to affordable housing and homeownership support. While the idea was tossed around to place a cap on the number of days a host can share their home each year, ultimately council decided against it.

“This is a historic day for the Airbnb community in Columbus. From the beginning, our hosts have asked for clear, fair rules that eliminate regulatory ambiguity and recognize the important role they play in catalyzing Columbus’ economy,” said Will Burns, Airbnb Midwest Policy Director, in a statement. “We want to thank President Pro Tem Stinziano for his strong leadership and the thoughtful manner in which he brought all sides to the table, and we look forward to building on our partnership with Columbus.”

The regulations are relatively mild when comparing Columbus with similarly sized cities around the nation. San Francisco, for example, requires that a host spend at least 275 days in the unit they intend to rent, only allowing 90 nights each year where the host is not present. No such requirement has been imposed here.

Airbnb cites Columbus as the number one market for the company in Ohio and one of the fastest growing markets in the country. The city has 700 active hosts and had nearly 60,000 guest arrivals in 2017 just through Airbnb, who earned a combined $6.5 million in supplemental income in 2017.

For more information, visit airbnb.com.

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