The Seattle City Council has released a new set of regulations designed to prevent property owners from operating Airbnbs and other short-term rentals as if they were hotels — part of a larger effort to ensure an adequate supply of long-term rental stock for the city’s permanent residents.
The new rules would limit hosts to two dwelling units each, require them to obtain special licenses, and levy a $10 per night tax on Seattleites operating short-term rentals. The tax would be levied starting Oct. 1, 2018, and the rest of the regulations would take effect 30 days after they are signed by the mayor, whomever that ends up being. The regulations also require short-term rental platforms — like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO — to obtain a special “platform license” to facilitate bookings in Seattle.
Anyone who rents property on a site like Airbnb will be required to obtain a short-term rental operator’s license, which costs $75 a year. Hosts who violate any of the new regulations could be fined $500 a day, for up to 10 days or until they comply. After the 10-day period, the fine jumps to $1,000 per day.