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City Council Moves One Step Closer To Regulating Airbnb

EFFIE YANG, flickr
 

EFFIE YANG, flickr

People in the City of Sacramento who use the online service Airbnb to rent out rooms are one step closer to being regulated.

A Sacramento City Council committee has forwarded a proposal to the planning commission that would allow people to open up their homes to renters for no more than 29 days a year ... without having to take out a "conditional use" permit.

Randi Knott is with the city manager's office. She says the goal is to set a clear line between occasional renters and bed-and-breakfast operators.

"If someone's going to have someone in their home for a weekend or a week, it's not a seven-room B&B that's being operated completely as a business. So we were able to create kind of a different tier," she says, "We want to make sure people are safe and we want to make sure they are in a habitable, reasonable environment and that they're not overdoing it. We have a few situations in the city where people are doing vacation rentals and it's constant.  That's not the essence of Airbnb."

If the new rules go into effect, online companies like Airbnb would collect hotel taxes on behalf of the city.

At least 400 Sacramento homes and apartments are available to rent short-term.