Managing Airbnb: Regulatory Approaches to Short-Term Rentals

Tech ventures like Airbnb have "uberized" the lodging industry. They have also created new challenges for land use planners and government officials. This article provides a sampling of regulatory approaches to short-term rentals.
December 1, 2017, 8am PST | CHorose
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As short-term rentals increase in popularity, planners and government officials are challenged with how to manage their impact on land use, housing, public health, and safety.

Aga Dixon, attorney at Drummond Woodsum, provides a sampling of regulatory approaches that can serve as a springboard for local officials seeking a solution to the land use issues presented by short-term rentals.

Approaches include:

  • Free Market: Arizona enacted a state law last year that preempts its cities, towns, and counties from totally banning STRs, although it allows local governments to narrowly regulate these uses based on nuisance-type considerations and to impose taxes on such ventures.
  • Zweckentfremdungsverbot (total ban on wrongful use): In Berlin, the law provides that homeowners cannot rent out more than 50% of their homes or apartments without first obtaining a city permit. Homeowners have found, however, that permits are nearly impossible to obtain.
  • Juste Milieu: This is a middle ground between the free market and a total ban. Cities like Galveston, Texas; Portland, Maine; and Rockland, Maine have implemented various methods.

Aga advocates for building a successful STR regulatory framework that is founded on the following considerations: know your community, know your stakeholders, and know your capacity.

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Published on Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Maine Association of Planners Front Page
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