Rules change for Airbnb hosts in Richmond

Richmond City Council unanimously approved an ordinance concerning short-term rentals.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond City Council unanimously approved an ordinance concerning short-term rentals on Monday night.

Officials hope the new ordinance will alleviate the current housing crisis, but some people say it could hurt them financially.

“This is my livelihood and it’s the livelihood of a lot of short-term rental hosts in the city of Richmond. 90% of Airbnb hosts that host in the city of Richmond will lose their opportunity to host ... if you can’t have unhosted stays,” said Terricinia St. Clair, an Airbnb superhost ambassador and a co-host in the Southside of Richmond.

There are more than 5,000 short-term rentals in Richmond alone, but many say the rise in short-term rentals has contributed to a decline in affordable housing.

“That takes it off of the market for someone to buy or to rent,” explained Katherine Jordan, a city council member for the Fan District.

One of the new rules says the host must live on the property for at least 185 days a year. The goal is to prevent outside developers from buying homes for the sole purpose of short-term rentals. Another rule is that there can only be two adult guests per bedroom, and they can’t stay for more than 30 consecutive nights.

“We don’t want people renting homes for big wedding parties, or graduation parties or raves or what have you, so they’re trying to come up with a number that is reasonable and more easily enforceable,” Jordan said.

Despite the crackdown, the city does not want to eliminate all short-term rentals.

“Given their individual and community benefits, we should find a way to permit short-term rentals in a manner that does not impact the supply of long-term units throughout the city,” said Kevin Vonck, the director of Planning and Development Review for Richmond.

Click/tap here for more information about the ordinance on the city’s website.