In a unanimous vote, the DC Council took a major step in limiting short term home sharing services like Airbnb. Here are the main aspects of the legislation:

  • Prevents those who own second homes from using home-sharing companies like Airbnb to rent on a short-term basis;
  • Restricts absentee homeowners renting primary residences to 90 days in a calendar year;
  • Short term rentals in owner-occupied residences are not restricted if the owner is present.

If it gains final approval, the legislation will make the District’s regulations some of the toughest in the country and will affect thousands of Washington DC homeowners and the visitors who rent from them.

Airbnb, which has been operating in the District for approximately eight years, fought the new legislation, citing loss of income to homeowners, but the Council sided with condominium management companies, the DC hotel industry and various community groups who claim that short term rentals create a disadvantage for renters who reside in the District, as well as condominiums and others worried about security and resource usage in multifamily buildings.

In a statement to Washington City Paper, At-Large Councilmember Robert White said; “D.C. cannot be just for tourists. It is first and foremost our home. The unregulated growth of a short term rental industry puts that diversity at risk.” He added that the unrestricted leasing of apartments means “one less apartment, one less home for our residents.”

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