Update: the vote on this proposal has been delayed until January 2019
The number of Orleans Parish residents who qualify for short-term rental licenses could decrease next year, thanks to a new proposal being considered by city council on December 20.
The motion, which was proposed by councilwoman Kristen Palmer, would tighten up the existing short-term rental laws by adding new requirements.
Currently, there are three types of short-term rental licenses: accessory short-term rentals, commercial short-term rentals, and temporary short-term rentals.
Temporary licenses allow property owners to rent out whole homes for 90 days a year. Under Palmer’s ordinance, this type of license would no longer exist. Property owners would be required to have a homestead exemption for the properties they wish to rent, and they would have to be present for the duration of the guest’s stay.
These residential licenses would allow operators who live on site and have a homestead exemption to rent one to three units on their property (e.g., half of a double shotgun or three units in a fourplex).
Commercial short-term rental licenses would include single unit, small-scale (four units or less), and large-scale (five units and up) designations. Single unit commercial licenses would require operators to hold a homestead exemption. Small- and large-scale licenses would be permitted only in commercial and mixed-use zoning districts. Large-scale licenses permit short-term rentals in building that have 30 percent of less of their units designated for short-term rentals, and they would also require a 1:1 ratio of short-term rental units to affordable housing units.
AirBnb and HomeAway rebuked what they dubbed the “Palmer ban.”
“This framework would jeopardize those responsible homeowners without cause, decrease tax collections, and prevent tourism dollars from being spread across the city,” HomeAway spokesperson Philip Minardi said in a press release.
“The Palmer ban—crafted in a backroom without input from key stakeholders like hosts and short-term rental platforms—would devastate New Orleanians who operate short-term rentals to support their families,” Airbnb spokeswoman Laura Rillos said in a press release.