City Council was busy last night reaching agreements and checking off items on their agenda, one of them being establishing new rules for short-term, “Airbnb-style” rentals.
With the new rules agreed upon by City Council members, Airbnb, and Columbus hosts alike, hosts would have to provide proof of insurance and contact information to the city and maintain four years worth of records that show guest names, room rates and the dates and durations of stays, reports The Columbus Dispatch.
If hosts fail to do so, they are subjected to a $250 fine for their first offense.
Rental companies have also been tasked with collecting and paying a 10 percent tax on all rentals which is how much the city levies on hotels.
Tax revenue generated from short-term rentals will go towards a dedicated fund to support affordable housing and home ownership in Columbus.
However, the legislation does not cap the number of days that hosts can rent their property.
Another item agreed upon is a simple, light-touch system for hosts to register with the city.
These new rules will go into effect January 1.
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“This is a historic day for the Airbnb community in Columbus,” wrote Midwest Policy Director Will Burns. “From the beginning, our hosts have asked for clear, fair rules that eliminate regulatory ambiguity and recognize the important role they play in catalyzing Columbus’ economy. We want to thank President Pro Tem Stinziano for his strong leadership and the thoughtful manner in which he brought all sides to the table, and we look forward to building on our partnership with Columbus.
Data on Airbnb in Columbus
- #1 Airbnb market in Ohio and one of the fastest growing large markets in the U.S.
- 700 active hosts (meaning they’ve hosted at least once in last year
- 58,000 guest arrivals in 2017 through Airbnb
- Columbus hosts earned a combined $6.5 million in supplemental income in 2017
- Typical Columbus host earns $5,300 in supplemental income through Airbnb
- Airbnb sees significant surges to Columbus during big weekends that cause hotels to sell out (i.e. Buckeye football games)