The city of Columbus is number one in the state of Ohio for Airbnbs.
Monday night, city council was looking to put regulations on short-term rentals.
“It feels as if the rules we understood to be in place when buying our homes have been jerked out from under us,” Jean Wentzel said.
Wentzel says she doesn’t mind Airbnbs, she just doesn’t like the idea of renters coming and going with no one to answer to.
“I just don’t think they’re right for residential neighborhoods where the owner does not live there,” she said.
According to information released by city council, there are 700 Airbnb hosts in the city.
“Currently, the city of Columbus has no regulations,” Councilman Michael Stinziano said.
Stinziano says rules were needed.
“Right now, it’s a little bit of a free-for-all and so this legislation’s a great step forward for us to be able to work with neighborhoods, work with hosts and work with interested parties to address issues if they arise,” he said.
The rules will also allow the city to track short-term rentals through permits. And, as for Wentzel’s concern of ownership, the city says it has a fix for that, too, that will also help the city’s affordable housing issues.
Stinziano says buildings where owners don’t live, the city will look to charge double the cost of the permit fee. Then, Stinziano says the balance of that money will go to affordable housing services.
City Council passed the new legislation, Monday night. It takes effect in January 2019.
“In general, we thought the legislation that went through, tonight, was very encouraging,” Zach James, Co-Founder of Columbus Host Alliance, said.
Wentzel says it’s too soon to tell how the new legislation will impact the city, but she’s hopeful if changes need to be made, the city will do what’s necessary.
“I just don’t think that they’re hearing us,” she said.