Boston Proposes Regulating Short-Term Rentals

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- Mayor Walsh is proposing limits on short term rentals like AirBNB and Homeway to preserve permanent housing stock in the city.

The proposal will require a vote from the City Council and would prevent landlords from taking multiple apartment units and renting them out for days and weeks at a time to out-of-towners.

The Mayor worries that an influx of short-term rentals could impact the availability of long-term housing. He wants to keep communities stables and allow families to be able to afford home.

If passed, property owners who rent their units would be charged annual fees between $50 and $500-dollars. 

Chris English, Policy Analyst and Special Project Manager for the City's Intergovernmental Affairs Office and says each unit the owner wants to rent would be classified.

"If you're not a long-term resident of the unit, and you want to list the entire thing as a short-term rental, what we would consider

According to Data released by the shows that the availability of short-term rental units has a irect correlation to housing costs. A 2016 study by UMass Boston found a 0.4% increase in rent prices due to increases in AirBNB listings, and a nationwide UCLA student also found a 0.42% increase.

In a statement, AirBnB tells WBZ NewsRadio1030 that while the proposal is still a concept, it welcomes the idea.

"In 2017, over 3,000 Boston families used Airbnb to help pay their mortgage, rent, and bring tourism dollars to neighborhood businesses. And over 80 percent of these residents are sharing their primary home. We are pleased that the city of Boston is making progress on regulations for our home sharing community, and will continue our review of the full proposal."

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Lana Jones reports.

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