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Short-Term Rental Update: New Orleans looks to further restrict short-term rentals; Portland threatens to tighten the reins on unpermitted rentals; Short-term rentals expand to camping (and glamping!)

New Orleans Looks to Further Restrict STRs
("New Orleans inches toward tighter short-term rental regulations," Curbed - New Orleans on May 20, 2019)
The New Orleans City Council, after years of debating, is within 90 days of taking a final vote on new short-term rental regulations that will result in further restrictions on owners of short-term rental units. The new regulations would outlaw rentals of entire homes in residential neighborhoods and maintain a total ban on short-term rentals in popular neighborhoods including the Garden District and most of the French Quarter. We are interested to see if, upon passing the proposed regulations, New Orleans manages to succeed in enforcing the new law. Some jurisdictions—including Seattle—have found significant challenges in gearing up their enforcement efforts. This is a trend we expect will continue as local jurisdictions try to keep up with explosive STR innovation.

Portland Threatens to Tighten the Reins on Unpermitted Rentals
("Portland drafts ordinance to crackdown on short-term rentals," Seattle Times - Seattle News on May 20, 2019) 
The City of Portland in Oregon has been working for over a year to reach a compromise with Airbnb to police unpermitted rentals. Apparently the latest offer made by Airbnb was deemed a step backward by the City, which has resulted in the City considering adoption of a punishing ordinance similar to what has been passed in Santa Monica, California and, importantly, recently upheld by the Ninth Circuit. The draft ordinance would prevent Airbnb from collecting booking fees on unpermitted rentals. We will continue to monitor to see how this plays out.

STRs Expand to Camping (and Glamping!)
("The 'Airbnb of Camping' Is Bringing Glamping To State Parks," Forbes on May 29, 2019)
We were excited to learn about new-to-us Tentrr this week, which offers a platform for private landowners to share their land with adventure-seeking short-term renters who want to try glamping (including fully-rigged canvas tents or domes with a bed, basic cooking tools and Adirondack chairs) or traditional camping (you bring your own tent and supplies).


Other news:

Industry News

Airbnb users getting scammed with fake rentals, account closures 
USA Today - Top News Stories on May 19, 2019
Airbnb users may want to check their accounts even if they aren't planning a trip anytime soon – some fellow customers on the rental site have been scammed with reservations they didn't make. Account holders have been charged for non-refundable reservations at fake destination homes...

Airbnb adds former Apple exec Angela Ahrendts to its board 
Fast Company News on May 16, 2019
Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s former head of retail, is joining Airbnb’s board of directors. She is the second woman to join the board of the home-sharing company. Ahrendts left Apple in April but shared few details about her departure. 
 

New Study Finds Airbnb Cannibalizes the Hotel Business While Bolstering Demand
 
Commercial Observer on May 15, 2019
It comes as no surprise that Airbnb steals business from hotels, but a new research paper published last month argued that the home-sharing platform also drives demand in a way that helps traditional hotels, especially during peak travel season. 
 

Consolidation Sweeps European Short-Term Rental Managers With Altido Launch
 
Skift Travel News on May 15, 2019
Four European short-term rental property management companies — BnbBuddy, The London Residents Club, Hintown, and RentExperience — have merged operations under a new brand, Altido. The new London-based company has more than 1,700 distinctive properties in 21 destinations.  

Tel Aviv’s Flirtation With Airbnb Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Love Affair
The Algemeiner News on May 14, 2019
The percentage of short term rental apartments has risen sharply in Tel Aviv in recent years, taking a large bite out of the city’s available housing, according to a new report. 

Regulation & Legal Developments

Raleigh votes on Airbnb, VRBO 'compromise' 
Biz Journal - Technology on May 21, 2019
After literally years of debate, Raleigh has finalized a decision on “homestay” regulations – rules to govern the use of short-term residential rental services such as Airbnb and VRBO. 

Judge orders Airbnb to partially comply with NYC subpoenas seeking user data as legislators mull bill regulating home-sharing
NY Daily News - Bronx on May 20, 2019
A Manhattan judge gave the city a partial win over Airbnb — ordering the home-sharing site to hand over some of its user data as officials investigate potentially illegal rentals. 

New Orleans inches toward tighter short-term rental regulations
Curbed - New Orleans on May 20, 2019
Last week, City Council members voted unanimously to limit short-term rental licenses to owner-occupied properties After a years-long debate that has pitted neighbor against neighbor, city officials are moving toward tighter short-term rental (STR) regulations in New Orleans. The new provision would outlaw “whole-home” rentals in residential neighborhoods. 

Providence moving to regulate short-term home rentals
Providence Business News on May 20, 2019
Short-term home and apartment rentals such as Airbnb will be restricted in Providence, particularly in residential neighborhoods, under a proposed ordinance moving through the City Council. The changes are part of a larger zoning package and would restrict short-term rentals in residential zones to owner-occupied buildings. 

Portland drafts ordinance to crackdown on short-term rentals 
Seattle TImes - Seattle News on May 20, 2019
Portland’s mayor is planning to introduce an ordinance that would force online short-term rental companies like Airbnb to take down unpermitted rentals. 

Taxation

St. Louis Airbnb hosts to pay increased taxes after city reclassifies residential properties to commercial
St. Louis Fox 2 Now News on May 15, 2019
Play by the rules. That’s what the City of St. Louis will require owners of short-term rental properties to abide by. More than 200 of those rental property owners were sent a letter from the assessor’s office telling them that their property rate tax will be increasing...

Transactions

Mint House raises $15m to give business travelers a better hotel
Tech Crunch on May 9, 2019
Hotels are convenient but rarely homey. Short term rentals through Airbnb or HomeAway are often comfy but can be a pain to book and check-in. Business travelers often have to pick the best of two lousy options.

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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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