UPDATE: Raleigh continues to move forward with restricting short-term rentals

On July 1, 2019, the Raleigh City Council Healthy Neighborhoods Committee met and discussed the topic of whole house short-term rentals as a follow-up to the May 21 City Council vote to ban whole house rentals. The results of yesterday’s committee vote should concern Raleigh residents who own or intend to own properties they wish to rent on sites such as Airbnb.

After discussion and some public comment, the Committee voted 2-1, with Council members Stef Mendell and Russ Stephenson voting “yes”, to ask the city staff to limit whole house short-term rentals in residential zoning districts to no more than 60 days per year. This rule would separate “whole house” rentals from the “homestay” rentals of up to two rooms in an owner-occupied home, which the council approved on May 21. Unauthorized whole house rentals could be subject to fines of $500 per day.

The news is not all grim for property owners. The committee members agreed in their comments that the current Unified Development Ordinance would allow unrestricted short-term whole house rentals in mixed-use zoning districts. The City Attorney noted that some changes would need to be made to make that clear, but these statements may offer some encouragement to those who own properties in mixed-use districts.

Nevertheless, Raleigh residents and property owners with short-term rentals in residential districts may soon find their property rights severely restricted. The instruction to staff may come out of committee and be addressed by the full Council in today’s meeting, followed by a city rule with little further public comment.

If you own such property and intend to rent it on a short term rental site, it would be good to speak to an attorney to understand your options and the rules that may apply. 

Do you currently have your home listed on a short-term rental site or are you thinking about renting your home in the future? Consider consulting with John Burns to ensure you understand the policy and how it may affect your existing business or future plans. John can be reached by email at john.burns@forrestfirm.com or by phone at 919-706-1389.