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Short-Term Rental Update: Seattle once again delays registration deadline for short-term rental operators; Airbnb stays eclipse top seven hotel chains combined

Seattle Delays Registration Deadline for STR Operators. Again.
("Seattle delays deadline again for Airbnb operators to register," Seattle Times on Aug 29, 2019)
The City of Seattle has again delayed the deadline for short-term rental operators to register their units, apparently due to technical difficulties in the online registration platform. Until further notice from the City of Seattle, the new deadline is December 15th. We have heard significant frustration from Seattle-based STR operators who diligently worked to timely register their units by the now-extended September 1st deadline, but faced significant hurdles from the platform. For everyone’s sake we hope the platform bugs are fully fixed in the next three months.

The Number of Airbnb Stays Eclipses Top Seven Hotel Chains Combined
("Airbnb hits record number of stays," Biz Journal - Technology on Aug 16, 2019)
With 4 million guest check-ins, the number of Airbnb listings around the world has now eclipsed all the rooms operated by the top seven hotel chains combined. Airbnb reports that every 6 seconds a new guest checks into one of its more than 6 million listings located across 100,000 cities worldwide…and these listings do not include any STR stays that operate outside the Airbnb platform.


Other news:

Industry News

Astoria shoots down vacation rental project
Daily Astorian on Aug 20, 2019
The Astoria City Council tentatively denied a project that would have converted a 5-unit apartment building on Commercial Street into Airbnb-style rentals. The unanimous decision upheld a Planning Commission vote in June to deny the application from Stewardship Homes LLC.

WhyHotel strikes deal to expand to Atlanta
Biz Journal - Travel on Aug 15, 2019
WhyHotel has been helping fill apartment buildings with its short-term rental model for the past few years.

Newly Built Mixed-Use Philly Property Secures Nearly $28M Refi Deal
GlobeSt.com - Multifamily on Aug 15, 2019
Approximately 40% of the building’s units are leased to Sonder, a short-term rental start-up in nearly 30 cities that recently surpassed a valuation of more than $1 billion.

How much does Airbnb really affect rents and housing prices?
University of Southern California News on Aug 19, 2019
It’s no longer surprising to hear that Airbnb is taking long-term rentals off the market, but USC researchers are finding there’s more to the story. Not only is Airbnb impacting long-term housing stock negatively, it’s actually increasing rents and housing prices.

Regulation & Legal Developments

Toronto defends short-term rental regulations as tribunal hearing gets underway

The Globe and Mail on Aug 26, 2019
The City of Toronto was on the hot seat at the start of a tribunal on Monday that will determine the future of rules passed early last year to regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

New D.C. Airbnb restrictions could soon take effect as officials tee up key zoning changes
Biz Journal - Residential Real Estate on Aug 21, 2019
New restrictions on short-term rentals in the District through home-sharing services like Airbnb could finally go into effect in the coming months, as officials gear up to start enforcing a law passed by the D.C. Council last year.

Airbnb should be legally on the hook for illegal rental listings, Hawaii rep says
Fast Company News on Aug 21, 2019
The tech industry’s favorite law is facing another attack on Capitol Hill, this time from a congressman looking to curb errant rental listings on Airbnb. In an unsurprising twist, the lawmaker also has ties to the hotel industry.

La Mirada considering ban on short-term home rentals
Whittier Daily News - Business on Aug 19, 2019
In La Mirada, you soon may not be able to rent out a room or even your home for less than 30 days. The proposal would have the city join a growing number of cities, including Anaheim, Manhattan Beach and San Diego, banning short-term rentals popularized by services such as Airbnb.

Enforcement

This Digital Sheriff Helps Cities Wrangle Airbnb Rules
NPR Topics - Law on Aug 28, 2019
Ulrik Binzer used to rent out his house north of San Francisco on Airbnb. It was enough money to pay for his family to fly to Denmark to visit relatives. But then his town suddenly banned short-term rentals.

City Sues Hell’s Kitchen Landlord for Renting Out Stabilized Apartments on Airbnb
Commercial Observer on Aug 15, 2019
The city is suing the owners of three Hell’s Kitchen walkups for operating illegal short-term rentals in rent-stabilized apartments, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Taxation

Mayors Tell Market City Center Owners They Are In Violation Of PILOT Agreement After Switch To Short-Term Rentals
The Chattanoogan News on Aug 28, 2019
Mayor Andy Berke and County Mayor Jim Coppinger said in a letter to the owners of the Market City Center that they are in violation of an earlier PILOT tax break agreement after the owners converted apartment units to short-term rentals.


Short-term rental violators in Clark County to be penalized on tax bill
Las Vegas Sun News on Aug 21, 2019
There are six vacation rental properties within two blocks of Mary Beth Heishman’s property in Spring Valley, many of which are advertised as “weekend party homes” that can accommodate hundreds of guests.


Honolulu adds inspectors to help enforce vacation rental law
SFGate - National News on Aug 16, 2019
Honolulu plans to increase its housing inspection staff to help enforce a new vacation rental ordinance. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday that the Department of Planning and Permitting has already rehired three retired inspectors and could add up to three more if needed.

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We regularly update clients about changes in real estate law and on industry trends. This includes briefing clients on legislative proposals in the federal tax, housing and other legal areas affecting their businesses. Staying current enables you to anticipate and prevent legal problems as well as capitalize on new developments.
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