RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Tonight, the Richmond City Council will vote on legislation approved by the City’s Planning Commission about regulating short-term rentals.
After nearly three years, the Planning Commission revisited its effort to control the number of legal short-term rentals. A spokesperson for the City said they hope to prevent overcrowding while embracing tourism and maintaining long-term housing options for current residents.
Airbnb — a website where travelers can rent homestays on both short-term and long-term bases — is a place where many of these rentals can be found. 8News spoke with Airbnb host and real estate agent Leah Coleman, who says any regulations will need proper oversight.
“Otherwise, I think the hosts are going to continue to be booked and unbothered until we can have something great to present them that doesn’t infringe on their rights,” Coleman said.
Recently, the City found that out of the nearly 5,000 short-term rental in the Richmond area, most were not in compliance. The proposed ordinance addresses the primary residency requirement that requires a host to live in the home for most of the year among other changes.
“Some people may have the mindset of, ‘we’re going to have little hotels in the middle of, like, single family residential neighborhoods.’ It’s not really like that. It’s like… you’re inviting a guest to come stay with you for the weekend. Like, it is so fun. It’s magical. It’s a great way to introduce people from around the world to the culture here,” Coleman said.