Please take this survey to let the city know what you think of the rules they are wanting to impose on AirBnB hosts in Richmond, VA. They are considering a $300 permit, only allowing to book 180 nights per year, rules on wether or not you reside in the rental, rules on the number of occupants per room, rules on tenants having to ask the owner/operator for permission, parking requirements, ect. Please have your voices heard!
Article here with a link for the survey in the 4th-to-last paragraph:
Here is another link to survey but I'm not sure if this will work:
The survey, available here, can be taken through May 31.
How many people are already paying the city transient lodiging tax? You may want to consier paying it before worrying about the suggested $300 fee.
Thank for your work on behalf of your interests and all of the other hosts in RVA. I think it will be hard to mobilize our group because of the veiled threats from Mr Olinger to penalize those of us already operating in the city. I find this Airbnb Community page pretty clumsy and hard to navigate especially using my phone.
However I contacted Mr Addison and offered to expain our situation and provide a tour of my property. I doubt many of the voting councel people have ever tried STR as an option while traveling.
The two items I could not accept are the 180 day limit and owner occupation rules being considered. If either goes into effect, I will switch to a 12 month rental situation, as either will make our duplex not affordable.
I must say, I'm slightly jealous. last year the Council in Auckland, New Zealand, introduced additional rates that, for some hosts, added a bill of an extra $4,000 per year on hosts operating an Airbnb... now other councils are looking to follow suit. Personally, I'd take the extra $300 any day.
Agree... The concept of regulating (taxing) private citizens doing business on their own property... Or creating obstacles to doing so... Is a restriction on freedoms and capitalism. I will survive either way but the Richmond government is already a financial blunder.
Was anyone clever enough to take a photo of the email address of attendees at the meetings? I have prepared a flowchart for what you should be doing now - and the biggest change of the legislation is a requirement to register and pay a fee. If you do not do this... nothing is different than you are doing now. If what is happening now is "illegal" the likelihood of any enforcement with the new process is low.
@Tom---Erin0 wrote:...the survey language is skewed against encouraging STRs........One question I am re-reading... "STRs should be permitted as an accessory use" - I am certain many respondents are assuming the following...- Permitted = Allowed (as opposed to needing a special use permit)OR- Permitted = Requires Registration
I agree. I noticed how the language of the results was written to imply most were against STRs. However when you read everything closely, I didn't think that was the case at all.
Also I believe people may have misread the question as I had to reread it a couple of times myself when I reviewed the survey results.
Richmond is experiencing a steep increase in housing costs and a shortage of affordable housing. Airbnb was founded as a way for people to make a little extra money on their primary dwelling- not to take housing off the market. If you’re renting a property that could be someone’s home, you’re contributing to the serious housing problem.
The attitude of “well, tough for you but I got mine” is inexcusable.
Wrong villain. Housing costs are being driven by the Fed, not evil landlords.
Rental pricing is rising at a slower rate than mortgage interest rates; running the numbers building here is hard unless it is a multi-unit complex. Rental income just doesn't cover costs. STR easing would drive an increase in smaller scale building that would further increase housing supply.
I know this because I literally just decided not to build in Virginia, even though I live here, due to ambiguity about what I can legally do with the property. I am investing in Arizona, where the SB1350 ended city prohibitions on short-term vacation rentals, driving a wave of construction.
Richmond is every bit the tourist attraction that Sedona is, but I can't build here due to this short-sighted legislation, and misguided logic that drives it.
Thanks for your input.
The STR model is not without legitimate criticism, true. Affordable housing should be a driver of city policy. I advocate a no-limit on days-of-operation so the same people who are having trouble getting bills paid/affording housing can exploit their OWN homes to their fullest benefit should they choose to do so.
We also have to consider the benefit of lowering the barrier to tourists which, if nothing else, the STR model does exceedingly well. Now that the meals tax is on the books (however one may feel about it), the IDEAL people to help pay that tax are tourists. This tax, as I understand it, goes directly to school funding. There's something to be said for encouraging those folks to come in and pay into that fund. Lowering that barrier by way of STR's could be a significant contribution to said meals tax. Very little data so far on that point. Would love to see the city run some figures. I'd hate to lose that money to Henrico or Chesterfield who have more reasonably priced hotels.
In the end, striking a balance is important. As the proposal stands currently, by way of the 180-day cap, it will likely take a lot of money out of the pockets of middle and low income people who use their home as an asset in the gig economy (in addition to picking up some of the "Big Fish" as you've indicated above). Do I want a situation in which someone can run several STR's at once (especially if that person doesn't live in the city)? No. But what is the golden number between that number and zero STR's? I'm not sure.
I welcome more thoughts.