As people in the Twin Cities look to capitalize on renting out their homes for the Super Bowl, city officials are considering new rules for them.
A handful of Minnesota cities already have regulations about short-term rentals from websites like Airbnb and VRBO. St. Paul and Minneapolis don't, but they're looking into establishing some that would make sure hosts (the people who rent out their home) are protected, pay taxes, and meet safety guidelines.
Minneapolis is in the process of developing regulations, with the Star Tribune reporting city staffers plan to present a proposal in the next few months.
Meanwhile, St. Paul has already studied and suggested amendments to the city's zoning code to regulate short-term rentals (that's anything being rented for fewer than 30 days).
Though there have been few complaints or calls to police regarding the 250 or so short-term rentals already up and running in St. Paul, the city feels like it needs to establish some rules for them because technically they're illegal, city documents say.
Earlier this year, Airbnb said it hopes to double the number of people renting out their rooms ahead of the Super Bowl, and has plans to help teach people best practices for renting out their homes.
In response to officials plans to regulate Airbnb, the company told GoMN:
"We appreciate the hard work of city policymakers to get to this point, though our St. Paul hosts have concerns with some of the cumbersome requirements of this draft legislation. Along with our hosts, we look forward to working further with the city towards regulations that work for everyone."
More about St. Paul's possible rules
The proposed amendments would require the following: that both the unit and rental website are licensed; taxes are collected; units have a fire certificate of occupancy inspection; and they meet zoning requirements. You can read all the nitty-gritty details here.
The hope is these amendments will not only protect hosts, but also level the playing field for others in the tourism industry (such as hotels) that are required to be inspected and pay taxes, city documents say.
St. Paul is now looking for comments from the public on the proposed amendments, and will hold a public hearing on June 2. People can also submit written comments by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out this survey – comments must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on June 5.
The Pioneer Press spoke to some people in the tourism industry who both support and oppose the regulations – read that story here.