The city of Portland will no longer give Airbnb hosts and other short-term rental operators a grace period when they violate city rules, including lacking the required permits and safety inspection.
Beginning March 31, the Bureau of Development Services will issue immediate fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
Portland was the first city to legalize short-term rentals in the country in July of 2014. Since then, when the city has found violations, it's given owners a grace period to correct the problems before issuing fines.
The changes were first proposed back in November.
As WW reported last year, enforcement has been lax, and even an Airbnb manager listed a property illegally.
Full announcement below:
Beginning March 31, 2017 Violations of City Short Term Rental Requirements will be Issued Citations
On February 9, 2017, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) adopted an Administrative Rule for the enforcement of Accessory Short Term Rentals (ASTR) in the City of Portland. The adopted Administrative Rule provides BDS the authority to issue citations for violations of the Portland Zoning Code ASTR regulations. On March 31, 2017, BDS will begin issuing citations for ASTR violations in order to allow for communication of the new enforcement approach to interested parties. Violations of the ASTR regulations will be issued citations ranging from $1,000-$5,000 per occurrence. Citations are effective immediately and do not provide a compliance period prior to the assessment of fines. The citation can be reviewed administratively and then appealed to the Code Hearings Officer.
“I am very pleased BDS is increasing enforcement options for Accessory Short Term Rental violations within the City,” said City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who has responsibility for BDS. “I have been very concerned about illegal full time commercial short term rentals in residential zones and I believe the new citation authority will assist BDS in responding to these egregious violations and improving compliance rates.”
In August 2014, the City of Portland adopted amendments to the Portland Zoning Code to allow Accessory Short Term Rental (ASTR) operations in residences. These rules were focused on a permitting process for applicants that ensured guests were safe during their stay, and included limitations on the operations of the rental in an effort to ensure that properties continue to retain a primarily long-term residential use. BDS has received increased complaints regarding properties operating without the legally required ASTR permit, as well as complaints regarding properties with issued ASTR permits. Complaints include allegations that some ASTR operations are renting out more bedrooms than allowed by permit, allowing more than 5 overnight guests, or operating the business without a primary long-term resident at the property. BDS is also receiving complaints of short-term rental that are resuming illegal operations after a BDS enforcement case has been closed.
On December 16, 2016, a public hearing regarding the Administrative Rule was held. It was attended by more than 40 members of the public. In addition, BDS received 189 written comments regarding the proposed Administrative Rule with an overwhelming majority of comments- 78 percent -supporting the proposed rule.
“I am confident that the Administrative Rule provides an enforcement approach that is necessary to ensure that compliance with the ASTR permit requirements are met, which establish minimum safety standards for overnight guests as well as protects livability by limiting the amount of commercial activity in our neighborhoods,” said BDS Director Paul L. Scarlett.
BDS will be working closely with various online platforms that facilitate short term rental hosting in order to best reach short term rental operators in the City of Portland. Additionally, BDS will be sending notification to ASTR permit holders as well as operators that have ASTR permit applications on file that have not been approved due to an incomplete application submittal.
The adopted Administrative Rule can be found on the BDS website: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/628271