By Christian Smith
Washington, D.C., delayed the final vote on a bill that would severely limit operations for home-sharing companies like Airbnb and VRBO in the nation's capital in a surprise move by the D.C. Council Tuesday afternoon.
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) agreed to postpone the vote until Oct. 30 after other council members raised concerns over how the city would pay for the regulations, which would ban short-term rentals of secondary properties in D.C. and would put a 90-day cap on Washingtonians renting out rooms in their primary residences.
Concerns over funding for the regulations largely stem from a recent report by D.C. Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt estimating the regulations would cost the D.C. government almost $100 million over a period of four years.
The delay comes just two weeks after the D.C. Council voted unanimously in favor of advancing the proposed regulation to the second and final vote in the law-making process. Across the board, timing has been an unusual factor in the push to regulate home sharing in D.C., said Andrew Giambrone, the D.C. editor at Curbed.
"The timing of this legislation is pretty interesting," Giambrone said Tuesday in an interview on Cheddar.
"The original bill was introduced back in January of 2017, and it sort of lagged for a year and a half ー didn't make it through committee or wasn't advanced."
If the regulations are approved, they will not go into effect until October of 2019.
This is the first major attempt to regulate home-sharing in the nation's capital since Airbnb launched in D.C. in 2009. The City Council has estimated that there are about 9,000 local short-term rental properties, which Giambrone said is perhaps part of the reason the city is only now confronting home-sharing issues.
"Clearly it is a growing part of the market here for housing in D.C," he said.
For full interview click here.