Taking a cue from cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York, which all have attempted to regulate Airbnb in diverse ways, Seattle City Councilor Tim Burgess recently introduced legislation to limit commercial investors in short-term rentals.
“As we face Seattle’s housing crisis, the proposed regulations will protect our housing stock for long-term residents, while allowing individuals and families to benefit from short-term rentals in their own home,” he tells me via email.
The regulations would limit the number of days hosts could list their property on rental platforms. Hosts listing their primary residence would be allowed to rent out all or part of their home for a total of 90 days each year without further regulation. They’d need to go through the process of obtaining a short-term rental operator’s license for anything more. (Airbnb says the average listing must be rented 157 nights per year to be more profitable than a long-term rental.) Those renting a non-primary residence would be capped at 90 days of rentals annually. Platforms such as Airbnb would also need a regulatory license from the city.