Cleveland Councilman Has Proposed Legislation to Ban Short-term Rentals like Airbnb


  • Airbnb
Cleveland City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli, who represents Slavic Village, has proposed legislation that would ban all short-term rentals in Cleveland. The legislation would include all Airbnb rentals, which reportedly generated $4.1 million for 1,000 local hosts in 2017.

Brancatelli has said that he would prefer not to have a full moratorium on these rentals — he likes them! — but that proposing a dramatic piece of legislation like this one may be the best way to get limited lodging companies like Airbnb to the negotiating table.

The ordinance hit the books back in February. Brancatelli cited a property in his ward about which neighbors had evidently been complaining. There seemed to have been some late-night comings and goings and more than the usual amount of garbage.

The Slavic Village town home in question is presumably one of many local properties that non-resident investors have purchased and now use for short-term rentals, an arrangement that's technically illegal in Cleveland. As long as there aren’t issues with the properties, though, the residency law goes unenforced. Even when a building and housing inspector visited the nuisance property Brancatelli mentioned, he didn’t detect a problem.

But that doesn’t cut the mustard for Brancatelli. He thinks a proposed moratorium may force the hand of private rental companies like Airbnb.

“We need the companies to ban hosts who break the City Law,” he wrote Scene in an email. “So this is a way to get the Limited Lodging Companies [like Airbnb] to the table, and this is the most effective way to get them here.”

The Plain Dealer reported that Airbnb turned over $89,000 in local lodging taxes to the city of Cleveland between July 1, 2016 and April 1, 2017, and $365,000 to the County over the same period.

There will be a hearing on the legislation scheduled in the near future, but for now, it's still under review in the city’s law department.

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