BATON ROUGE – A group of Spanish Town residents have long advocated restricting Airbnb rentals to houses where the owner lives on site. However, a draft proposal released Monday for regulating short term rentals in historic Baton Rouge neighborhoods has those residents concerned.
Those residents have argued against offsite owners operating Airbnb’s because guests and parking are not being properly managed. Many Spanish Town residents have to park on the street because the historic neighborhood was built before the majority of houses were built with driveways or garages.
“The one [Airbnb] we have here with just two units ends up with eight to ten cars [parked out front] every time they’re here,” said longtime homeowner Debbie Daniel.
The draft proposal would limit the total number of short term rentals to three percent of houses in a neighborhood. However, Daniel says this will benefit offsite owners.
“Once the conglomerates come in and [purchase] the houses and hit the three percent cap, and [then an existing homeowner] wants to rent out one room as an Airbnb, you would not be able to because the three percent cap has already been established,” she said
Daniel says she does not want to limit the number of Airbnb’s in Spanish Town, but wants to restrict them to only operate in homes where the owner also lives.
Some Spanish Town residents support offsite owners saying those owners are more likely to renovate and maintain their houses to attract short term renters as opposed to the owners of long term rental properties.
Any regulation would have to go through the metro council but so far it remains unclear when that could happen.