Airbnb Hosts Get Nervous As Columbus Considers Stricter Regulations

According to travel and tourism researcher Longwoods International, 9.1 million visitors made overnight trips to Columbus in 2016. Overall, Columbus' visitor volume grew from 39.3 million visitors in 2015 to 39.9 million visitors in 2016 - a 1.5 percent increase.
That's coinciding with an Airbnb boom here in Central Ohio. In 2017, Columbus was the number one Ohio market for Airbnb, with 57,780 guests using the rental site last year. Right now, private short-term rentals like Airbnb in Columbus have no rules: no permits, no limits on rental days and no hotel taxes.

But the city is considering regulating them by requiring them to get permits, setting number of rental days per year at 90, and making owners live at the property at least 51 percent of the year.

A legislative briefing from September says the application fee for a permit would cost $10, and the permit fee itself would be $75 annually. This is the same cost and schedule as the city's hotel/motel permit.

Though registration isn't too pricey, the regulations on rentals could have a bigger impact: after enforcing new restrictions, San Francisco saw its Airbnb listings drop by half.

Columbus City Council member Michael Stinziano says they are modeling the regulations of other cities and collecting community feedback.

'There's clearly some things that require additional research and additional consideration," Stinziano said. "There's some things people didn't feel made a lot of sense and wasn't actually capturing the economic activity."


Full story here.

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