Minneapolis approves two Airbnb regulation ordinances

- The Minneapolis City Council on Friday voted to approve a pair of ordinances to regulate short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. The new laws will require short-term rental hosts and services like Airbnb to be licensed with the city.

Individuals looking to rent a home, condo or apartment where they live will need to get a $46 per year license. You can avoid the rental fee if you continue to stay at your home while your guest is visiting. Here is a breakdown of three types of short-term rentals and the associated fees:

A short-term rental property registration or rental license is not required for an 

Owner who lives at the property, rents a room and stays at the property during the rental period: No license required.

Owner who lives at the property, rents out an entire unit and leaves the property during the rental period: License requires, with $46 annual fee.

Owner of a non-occupied rental property who rents out an entire unit. Rental licenses for Tier 1 properties will range from $70 to $175, plus $5 for each additional unit. Licenses for Tier 2 properties will range from $112 to $350, plus $5 for each additional unit. More information on rental licenses and the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 properties can be found at http://www.minneapolismn.gov/inspections/rental/inspections_rentlicensefee

A separate ordinance regulates license fees for larger short-term rental services like Airbnb and VRBO. Under the ordinance, hosting platforms will need to play $5,000 for an annual license. Councilman Jacob Frey, who introduced both ordinances, introduced an amendment to address the concerns that smaller, local short-term rental companies had with this law. The amendment offers a reduced license fee of $630 for services that list 150 rentals or less.

While the regulations passed the city council, Airbnb remains opposed.

"We're appreciative to Councilman Frey and his colleagues for their efforts throughout the legislative process," Airbnb Midwest spokesman Ben Breit said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the ordinance still violates the legal rights of Airbnb and its community. We will consider all legal options to protect innovation and the privacy of Minneapolis residents."

St. Paul is also looking at regulating short-term rentals. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have been trying to get these regulations in place before the Super Bowl. City officials are trying to balance to emergence of the so-called sharing economy with the need for public safety and fairness for all sides.

“Cities want to make sure they're safe, the neighbors are safe and all of that,” said Trudy Ohnsorg, an Airbnb “superhost” in St. Paul. “That's fine. And I'm also not opposed to the city collecting some tax. So we're working with them to make sure what gets put in place is fair.”

Minneapolis will begin accepting license applications Dec. 1.

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