Watch CBS News

Airbnb, Hosts Upset After Boston Votes To Regulate Short-Term Rentals

BOSTON (CBS) - Boston is cracking down on short-term rentals like Airbnb.

The City Council just approved new rules that would ban certain property owners from renting apartments for short terms through a variety of apps. The biggest losers would be so-called investor units, homes where the owner doesn't actually live.

It took the Boston City Council a couple of years and several different proposals to get to today. The house was packed with people on both sides of the issue. After debating amendment after amendment, the Councilors voted 11-2 to impose strict regulations on short-term rentals like Airbnb and Home Away.

The most significant change, the new ordinance bans people from renting out units they don't live in for short periods. Those are called investor units and critics say they're a type of hotel.

The regulations do allow short-term rentals of owner occupied units as often as the owners want, and allows owners of two and three family homes to rent out one unit all year long.

Airbnb is not happy, telling WBZ in a statement: "The new ordinance unfortunately creates a system that violates the privacy of our hosts, and prevents Boston families from making much needed extra income in one of the country's most expensive cities."

Outside the council chambers, Airbnb host Terrence Heinen wasn't happy either. "What they did is just mind boggling. It's just crushing a whole industry. We have cleaners, we have maintenance people, they're all going to be put out of work," he says.

But the city argues the new regulation will help traditional renters. "I think we're really hopeful it will return some housing to the rental market, that these people go back to renting long term leases," says Colleen Fitzpatrick who also attended the Council meeting.

The ordinance also forces hosts to register with the city and pay a yearly registration fee.

Late this afternoon Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told us he will sign the new law.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.