City of Seattle Vs Airbnb - the future of short term rentals

By Jay

Over the last few years, all of us who are in the Seattle property management business have seen the proliferation of short term stay rentals increase through websites such as Airbnb. A recent study suggested that the number of active Airbnb rentals in Seattle may exceed 1,000 units.  Certainly, this many active units is taking a bite into the hotel industry.  The hotel industry pays a lot of tax money to the City.  As a result,  I am sure that the hotel industry is pressuring the city and in response, the city is preparing to impose new rules against short term rentals as reported in the Seattle Times:

Dozens of people who list homes on short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb showed up en masse Wednesday at City Hall to speak out against new regulations proposed by Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray.

The short-term rental hosts warned council members the rules would prevent them from making money they use to pay their mortgages and send their children to college and would stop them from providing inexpensive accommodations to visitors, sometimes to see relatives hospitalized with illnesses.


Some suggested the city raise taxes on hosts to help build low-income housing rather than restrict short-term rental operations that contribute millions of dollars to the city’s economy. That would require a change in state law, however.

 Don Mackenzie, of Wallingford, said he and his wife rent a unit on Airbnb for the half year that his mother-in-law lives elsewhere.
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