Seattle Strikes Balance on Short-Term Rental Rules

Earlier this year, the Seattle City Council began debating a proposed ordinance to regulate the short-term rental market in the city. The proposal, similar to others around the country, focused on banning non-owner occupied homes from participating in the regulatory framework and severely restricting other forms of short-term rentals. It did not take long for the Seattle Short-Term Rental Alliance (SSTRA) to fight back!

Michelle Acquavella, Chair of the SSTRA and VRMA Board member, helped organize an effort to ensure that professional property managers and non-owner occupied homes were a part of the new rules. Over several months, the group organized, testified at council meetings, and held individual meeting with policy makers to explain their industry. The efforts are beginning to work. After months of negotiation, Seattle has proposed a new framework that includes allowing the rental of non-owner occupied homes, grandfathers currently managed properties and loosens the restrictions on other short-term rentals. Michelle was recently quoted in Seattle Weekly, saying, “This reasonable regulation achieves what we, the short-term rental community, asked of our City Council. It’s balanced, fair, and thoughtful. This is what democracy looks like.”

Join Michelle Acquavella, Sea to Sky Rentals; Philip Minardi, HomeAway Government Relations; and Tom Martinelli, Airbnb Public Policy; at the VRMA National Conference on Tuesday, October 17 from 1:30-2:30 where they will discuss how they were able to “Build and Effective Coalition to Fight Restrictive Regulations”.

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