Regulate all the things!
As if we needed more proof that we do not fully own our homes or property! Virginia faced three bills to regulate Airbnb type rentals, but only one made it to the Senate floor. Yes, the Virginian government wants to regulate how YOU rent out YOUR property to someone because it’s totally their business.
The bill from Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-james City County) made it to the floor:
“The shared economy presents a 21st century challenge to the General Assembly,” Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City County, said . “Who would’ve thought it would be like this five years ago?”
From The Virginian-Pilot:
Norment’s bill, SB1578, was sent to the full Senate on a 9-2 vote over two other bills, including one brought by Airbnb and one that would’ve thrown a $10,000 fine against homeowners who were renting illegally.
Norment’s bill would allow cities to charge a fee to get on the registry. It also would allow cities to charge up to $500 if a host who did not register is caught renting.
It still would let localities decide whether or not to allow short-term rentals in their communities.
Renting illegally? It’s MY house! But I digress. Norment’s bill also requires that the homeowner “obtain a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control license if they want to serve alcohol to guests.”
Thankfully, the bill that would fine homeowners $10,000 for renting illegally didn’t receive enough votes to get to the floor. But still.
Of course, Airbnb hosts do not agree with this law, including this one who didn’t want WTKR to reveal her identity:
“We just want the opportunity to thrive and be economically successful. I don’t think we’re providing competition to the hotels as they perceive us. The people who come stay with us are looking for a completely different experience.”
“If you have someone who just wants to rent out a bedroom in their home I just don’t feel it’s necessary to have them register and report all that,” said the host.
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