Proposed bill would regulate short-term rentals in the District

A D.C. City Council hearing will be held Wednesday on proposed regulations that would establish requirements governing the use of short-term rentals in the District.

Housing hosts, who use businesses like Airbnb to lease and rent, are expected to speak out against the bill being proposed by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.

The bill would limit the amount of time customers with companies like Airbnb could stay in a house. The bill would also require short-term rental hosts to obtain a basic business license, to maintain records, and would require inspections for violations of health and safety.

"My concern is that in D.C. we're experiencing a real serious housing crisis," McDuffie said. "And there are some homeowners - particularly landlords of commercial properties - who decided that they can make a lot of money by taking long-term rental housing off the market in favor of more profitable short-term rentals." He said this practice make it more expensive for the middle and working class residents of D.C. McDuffie said the proposed bill would allow homeowners to rent out rooms in the homes they are living in.

Local Airbnb host, Simone Griffin, says she agrees with McDuffie about the importance of long-term affordable housing. "I do think that a fair thing would certainly be to allow people to do very same things - the things they feel are best for their family - with their home."

Griffin also says that short-term rentals may be the best solution for some homeowners who need to generate short-term income while they shift to long-term goals.

"I'm always looking for reasonable solutions to protect the interest of District of Columbia residents," McDuffie said. "I think this bill does that. If there are tweaks we need to make I'm hoping to make those tweaks."

"We want to make sure people like Simone, and others, who have an English Basements or a couple of rooms in their homes that they want to rent out - to be ail to do so in way that allows them to make extra income. I support that," he said.