Pittsburgh City Council introduces legislation regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Members of the Pittsburgh City Council are calling for a crackdown on short-term rentals like Airbnb across the city.
A new ordinance was introduced Tuesday in response to this weekend's deadly mass shooting at an Airbnb party on the North Side, where two teens were killed and several others were hurt. More than 200 people were in attendance.
The new ordinance aims to stop large events like this in their tracks long before they would even have the chance to get out of hand.
Council members Teresa Kail Smith, Bobby Wilson and Debra Gross introduced the ordinance that would require property owners offering short-term rentals to obtain a business license from the city. The license would be valid for one year.
"I also want to make sure that the local community where this took place has assurance that tonight it wouldn't happen," Wilson said.
In addition following city capacity limits and providing the city with the maximum number of guests permitted in every single room of the property, the property owner would also need to maintain a log of who specifically is occupying the space.
The log would need to include names, addresses and phone numbers of guests. The city could request the information at any time.
Wilson said he recognizes this bill ultimately will not solve the issue of violence plaguing the city and pointed to a more refined use of funding as another solution.
"If you had to spend the money to stop the violence, how would you spend it? That's the question we should be asking. So, that's the question I'm going to continue asking and have a real comprehensive strategy to move forward so we can spend the money appropriately," Wilson said.
Violating any of these regulations could get your short-term rental license revoked for a year and you prosecuted. The bill now heads to a committee for discussion.
Airbnb released this statement on the matter to KDKA:
"Airbnb has been in touch with Councilmember Wilson's team to support his efforts to develop short-term rental regulations." "We condemn the behavior that is alleged to have prompted this criminal gun violence and the tragic loss of life. Yesterday we confirmed the booking guest has been issued a lifetime ban from Airbnb, and today we can confirm that we plan to pursue affirmative legal action against this individual."
A company spokesperson also said it will remain in close contact with Pittsburgh police and Mayor Gainey's staff to support their investigations.
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