Seattle is going to require sites like Airbnb to provide data on hosts in order to regulate hosts to 90 days year.
In a bid to make more of the city’s rental capacity available to honest to goodness renters — and in the latest attempt to regulate Seattle’s sharing economy — Seattle officials have unveiled a plan to clamp down on houses and apartments permanently listed for tourists on services like Airbnb and VBRO.
The proposal (PDF) seeks to distinguish people who are making some extra cash by occasionally renting out their homes for short-term stays and those who are renting out units year-round on a short-term basis.
“Property owners are shifting hundreds of homes from the long-term residential market to short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, and in doing so dangerously reduce our housing supply,” said Council member Tim Burgess in a statement.
Under the proposal, any apartment or house that does not have a permanent resident would be prohibited from having more than 90 nights of short-term stays per year. Permanent residents could rent out their homes above the 90-day cap if they receive a license from the city.
“We must protect our existing rental housing supply at a time when it is becoming harder for residents to find an affordable home in Seattle.”
The new license will require proof the unit is being rented by the operator’s primary resident, proof of insurance that covers short-term rentals, a local contact number, and basic safety information. Short-term rentals are defined by the city as those under 30 consecutive nights.
The Mayor Ed Murray-backed proposal also comes with some new requirements on rental platforms, like Aibnb.
The platforms will be required to provide information about Seattle’s regulation to operators using the platform and share basic data with the City on a quarterly basis, including the names and address of operators and the number of nights each operator has rented a short term rental on the platform.
There's more in the article.