SEATTLE -- A Seattle City Council committee will consider regulating the use of websites like Airbnb on Wednesday. Affordable housing advocates say the online marketplace makes it difficult for people to find places to live in Seattle.
Mayor Ed Murray and council member Tim Burgess are behind the proposed regulation focusing on landlords who exclusively use the online marketplace for their main source of short-term tenants. Murray and Burgess say the practice threatens affordable housing initiatives and advancement in the city. Murray stresses he still wants to provide a way for homeowners to earn some extra cash by renting their homes.
The Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee will review the matter for the first time on Wednesday morning.
Under the proposed rules, any property may be used as a short-term rental for up to 90 nights a year. Only properties that are the primary residence of landlord will be allowed to be rented out for more than 90 days per year. Those who do that will be required to get a regulatory license from the City of Seattle that includes procuring liability insurance.
Proposal supporters say roughly 80 percent of existing short-term rentals in Seattle will not be impacted by these proposed regulations.
According to the Seattle Oasis Team, their company will lose $3.5 million in revenue if the bill goes through.