Airbnb restrictions tighten in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The City of Raleigh is tightening the rules when it comes to people listing their homes on Airbnb.

Homeowners will need to get an annual permit and if they violate rules, they'll face a $500 fine.

From now on, if you list a home or apartment that is your primary residence on Airbnb and it has up to two guest rooms, you also have to be living in it while renting it out.

The council, which passed the ordinance on "Homestays" 5-2 Tuesday, took the matter up years ago in the first place because they said they were getting horror stories from people living next to Airbnb properties.

Right now, there are hundreds of people renting out their Raleigh homes. Technically, it is illegal. The only time the law is enforced, though, is when someone files a complaint.

"It gives us an extra sense of financial security," said John Dion. "We know that we are building something more for our family and for our neighborhood."

Dion and his wife list their garage apartment behind their home in Five Points on Airbnb. They also have a rental home in Boylan Heights, which they added last year.

"We're providing another outlet for people to come to the neighborhood," Dion said. "We're right down the street from two amazing micro-breweries and the people who stay here go down there and support the local businesses."

John went before the city council a few weeks ago. He said his garage apartment wasn't counted in the new ordinance because it's "detached" and not connected to his house.

"I'm in a gray area--it's not a whole house and just a studio apartment," he said, adding that his rental property also is protected because it's not his primary dwelling.

"It's just been very confusing and the transparency hasn't been there."

The city council wants to start enforcing the rules next January.
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