Councillors Look At Regulations for Airbnb

Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said there are more than 100 Airbnb rentals throughout the city. Keefe’s goal is to enact legislation to regulate Airbnb properties and create revenue for the city.

“The issue is in [Council] sub-committee at this time,” said Keefe. “We’re reviewing the ordinance with the city solicitor and a couple of department heads in an effort to bring it forth.”

Airbnb regulations in Boston, Cambridge, and New York City are being reviewed as Revere moves towards adopting similar procedures.

“We’re trying to create a limit on Airbnb properties per year so there are not people purchasing large properties just to use it for Airbnb,” said Keefe. “We’re also looking at the local tax options.”

Keefe said while there are current regulations for rooming houses in the city, Airbnb falls in to a different category.

“There are over 100 units being used for Airbnb in the city,” said Keefe. “What’s happening is that the city is not getting any benefit from it. And we have very little ability to manage it, with no ordinance in place. This would give us the ability to help manage and regulate it, and give the true Airbnb users the ability to generate additional income, but pay the taxes would be due to the city. It would also insure that they’re running a proper establishments.”

Keefe said that there are five new hotels coming to Revere “and to say we want to have a hotel industry in our city and then allow anyone to circumvent that with an Airbnb – that doesn’t really protect your hotels.”

“It’s hard to court the hotel business and tell them to spend millions of dollars to construct new hotels and say, ‘oh by the way, we’re going to allow someone to pay no taxes to operate [Airbnb properties] near you with zero regulations.’”

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