Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cleveland City Council considers regulations for limited/transient lodging (Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO...)

Cleveland City Council held its' first hearing today to review the Jackson's Administration's proposed legislation, Ordinance 30-16, to regulate limited/transient lodging.

Our hearing followed the most recent agreement struck between Cuyahoga County and Airbnb that will have Airbnb begin to pay the County's excise tax, bed tax of 5.5%.

The legislation as introduced would require a homeowner (vendor) or agent (Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, FlipKey, etc.) to collect and remit to the City the City's transient occupancy tax, bed tax of 3%.

The legislation separates two classes of operators.  The first would be an owner occupied vendor that would be required to reside in the property 51% of the time in a calendar year.  The owner-occupied vendor would be limited to rentals of no more 91 total days in a year and no more than 30 continuous days of a single renter.  A second class of vendor that would decide to rent for more than these limits would be required to obtain the proper use for rental occupancy and file and pay the city the existing required rental registration fee of $35.00 per year per rental unit.

There was lively discussion and presentations given by representatives of the City's Departments of Law and Building and Housing and from an official and then Greater Cleveland Area Hosts of Airbnb.  Main issues expressed included concerns for safety standards, concern for over-regulation and clearing the understandings of use of a rental registration for no-owner-occupied units.

Cleveland City Council's Development, Planning and Sustainability Committee will be scheduling additional hearings on the legislation.  Some suggestions for amendments that were brought up included passing legislation with a sun-set provision or review requirement in one or two years; eliminating or increasing the 30/90 day periods to 60 days continuous rental use and the maximum number for owner-occupy vendors to up to 180 days.

Below is a copy of the Cleveland legislation as introduced.  Below that document is the Cuyahoga County statement regarding their agreement with Airbnb.

30-16-EOrd-Enact 337.251 193.121 Amd Var 193. Re Limited Lodging and Tr.. by Brian Cummins

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