Airbnb and the City of Seattle are in a debate over home sharing restrictions that has propelled the company to create TV, radio and web ads to show how the service has positively impacted its hosts in the city.
The legislation, spearheaded by councilmember Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray, was proposed to regulate the service. Advocates for the regulation claims that these services, including Expedia’s HomeAway, cause owners to use their properties like hotels.
“Our goal is to maintain our rental-housing stock while allowing people to take advantage of the opportunities these platforms provide,” Burgess said.
The new restrictions would prohibit people from renting out their secondary living spaces for more than 90 days per year and add extra permission forms for those renting their first-homes. The hope is that the cap would discourage commercial Airbnb listings, which the company said is a small percentage of their total user base.
“We are working with the City of Seattle to find sensible regulations that allow middle class people to share their homes and make ends meet,” said an Airbnb spokesperson in a statement. “We want to ensure that policy makers and the community understand who Airbnb hosts are and get to know the everyday Seattleites this ordinance will affect.”
Airbnb, and other companies in the market, are in talks with the City of Seattle over the proposed regulations. A date for the vote has not been set.