kenyan-banner

Short-term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017

Councilmember McDuffie, surrounded by affordable housing advocates, speaks at the introduction of the legislation.

Councilmember McDuffie, surrounded by affordable housing advocates, speaks at the introduction of the Short-term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017.

Download the printable one-page fact sheet on this legislation here (PDF): Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017 Fact Sheet

As D.C. faces increasing housing costs, there are commercial operators renting multiple residential properties using online short-term rental platforms like AirBnB, VRBO and HomeAway. This legislation, the Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017 [D.C. Council bill # B22-0092] will protect the character and integrity of D.C. neighborhoods and ensure housing in residential areas is kept for people and families.

Skip to the Frequently Asked Questions

About the Short-term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017:

Targets commercial operators who are renting multiple properties:

  • According to industry data [via AirDNA.co], there are hundreds of commercial operators with multiple listings taking residential units away from D.C. residents each night. Each residential unit used for short-term rental is one unit not used to house a D.C. resident.
  • To ensure short-term rental platforms are kept to small operators, an owner/host may only register one residential unit, and that unit must be their permanent residence in the District. Permits will only be issued to District residents.
  • This legislation would stop the abuse seen in December 2016 in which an entire 21-unit rent-controlled apartment building in Columbia Heights was listed online for short-term rental.

 Creates a new short-term rental license category:

  • Currently, there is no clear regulatory process for short-term rentals and many hosts are unwittingly operating outside District law.
  • This legislation greatly simplifies what it takes for an owner/host to comply with the law by creating a new category of Basic Business License for short-term rentals.
  • As proposed, a resident may offer a short-term rental as a vacation rental, without being present, for a maximum of fifteen nights cumulatively in any calendar year.
  • There is no cap on home-sharing while the owner is present, including offering private rooms and shared spaces.

 Helps control escalating housing costs:

  • Fifty percent of fines collected from enforcement will go the Housing Production Trust Fund that is used to provide financial assistance for the production of low-income housing in the District.
  • Ensures families who use short-term rentals to bolster their income will continue to be able to do so by codifying home-sharing into District.

Frequently asked questions on the Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act:

  • Does this bill ban AirBnB from D.C.?
    • NO, this bill DOES NOT ban online short-term rental platforms like AirBnB. This legislation codifies into law short-term rental housing in the District and clarifies the process to operate legally.
  • Will I still be able to supplement my income by home-sharing?
    • YES, this bill DOES NOT limit your ability to rent your primary residence while you are there. This law would largely impact commercial operators who rent entire homes they do not reside in.
  • Are other cities moving to regulate home-sharing?
    • YES, D.C. is not the only city introducing regulations on short-term rental housing. Across the country, and with the support of AirBnB, cities are passing laws to regulate home-sharing and simplifying the process for their residents to take part in home-sharing legally.
  • Do I currently need a permit to operate as an AirBnB host?
    • YES, D.C. law currently states that hosts should have a basic business license and an additional license depending on what the zoning is for their residence. This legislation would make it easier to comply with the law by creating a new category of permit for short-term rental housing.

How to follow the progress of the bill:

For those interested in keeping up to date with the latest developments of this legislation, there is a relatively new way to keep tabs on specific legislation via the D.C. Council website. If you go to the page for this bill there is a big button on the lower right that reads “subscribe.” Click that button and you will be guided through a brief process to subscribe to all updates about that bill (and only that bill) via email.