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County Board to Consider Regulations on Airbnb Rentals

Airbnb logoThe Arlington County Board on Saturday will consider taking a first step to enacting new regulations on Airbnb and other short-term housing rentals.

County staff is proposing regulations that would permit Airbnb rentals, which currently exist in a bit of a legal gray area in Arlington, while imposing some restrictions.

Among the proposed regulations:

  • Those who rent their home on Airbnb would need to apply for and obtain an “accessory
    homestay permit,” which would remain valid for two years.
  • County inspectors would be authorized to inspect the homes of anyone with such a permit “at least one time per year,” with proper notice.
  • The home being rented is required to be the owner’s primary residence, with the owner living there most days of the year.
  • A cap of no more than six guests at a time in any given rental.
  • The owner would not be allowed to “prepare or serve food or beverages to
    any overnight guests.”

There are a total of 21 proposed regulations listed, including more mundane safety regulations like requiring working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.`

Some of the regulations are said to be “an option” for consideration — such as requiring that owner provide at least one off-street parking space and limiting the number of short-term-rental-eligible apartments in a given multi-family building to no more than 25 percent of units.

The Board this weekend will consider advertising the proposed changes. If approved, public meetings on the regulations would be held in November, ahead of final Board consideration in December.

Nearly 1,000 properties in Arlington were listed on Airbnb in September, according to a county press release. The number was closer to 1,600 over the summer, said County Manager Mark Schwartz.

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