Seattle will develop plans to restrict how many units its residents can list on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.
Keeping things a little more flexible than cities that have adopted a one-host, one-home policy, Seattle’s proposal would allow each short-term rental host to list their own place of residence coupled with one extra housing unit.
The city has issued a revised set of short-term rental regulations that aim to balance between keeping long-term renters and short-term hosts happy. In Seattle as in many cities, short-term rental services have faced some blame for a deficit in affordable housing for residents and restricted real estate inventory across the board.
Under the proposal, hosts renting a primary residence will need to get a Short Term Rental Operator’s license from the city in addition to a business license. To limit large-scale commercial operations that take housing units off the normal market, hosts will be restricted to one rental property beyond their own primary residence.
The special licensing will only be issued after hosts obtain proof that a listing is either their primary or secondary residence. The license number can then be tracked and cross-referenced across short-term rental databases to prevent the kind of easy workarounds that other cities struggle to prevent.