Potential Airbnb regulations pack DC Council meeting

DC Council debates Airbnb regulations (ABC7)

Every seat in the DC Council chamber was filled Wednesday during Airbnb regulation hearings.

In the corridor outside, people waited in line and watched monitors, with a myriad of opinions.

"People under Airbnb are using their own property, their own investment," James Edmonds said.

Meanwhile Graylin Pres said, "It needs to be regulated."

Similar sentiments were held inside the chambers as the committee heard from a long list of witnesses.

Airbnb has put a lot of money into homeowners pockets in the District. D.C. is a popular and expensive destination and visitors get financial breaks staying in private homes, but Councilman Kenyan McDuffie's bill to regulate, would ban converting apartment buildings into Airbnbs:

"Landlords have decided that they can make a lot of money, by taking long term rental units off the market in favor or more profitable short term rental units," McDuffie said.

His bill would require hosts to get business licenses, maintain records, have DCRA inspections, no one guest more than 30 days, the host must live there and rent only 15 days a year when not at home.

Greta Fuller, an Airbnb host, says she might need to take care of her sick mother longer than 15 days.

"So it worries me that no only is this hurting some developer who's a bad actor, but it's also hurting the common people in the neighborhood," Fuller said.

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