Seattle limits short-term rentals to preserve permanent housing | KUOW News and Information

Seattle limits short-term rentals to preserve permanent housing

Dec 12, 2017

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved regulations Monday to limit short term rentals like Airbnb, after more than a year working out concerns from that and similar companies.

Under the new ordinance, most people will be allowed to operate two rental units max.

That will prevent property owners from filling their apartment buildings with Airbnbs.

At Monday's City Council meeting, Belltown resident Antoinette Freeman thanked the council for the regulations.

"Our entire block condominium has 245 residential units. The 60 plus vacation rentals create a steady influx of large groups of strangers entering and exiting at all times of the day and night," she said.

One major exception to the rules is in the downtown core and other select areas. Property owners downtown will not face a cap on rental units, as long as they started operating them by September 30, 2017.

In another exception, people who started hosting by September 30th, 2017 will eventually be allowed a third rental unit.

Under new regulations, hosts will also need to be licensed by the city and pay fees (based on number of nights a unit is rented).

The ordinance takes effect in 2019. Hosts who have more than the allotted number of rental units will need to comply by that time.