After a city introduces a new and reasonable licensing process for airbnb, additional action must be taken to encourage registration and compliance. Experience in Portland, Oregon has shown that hosts who have been operating illegally will not automatically register.
Here are some suggestions:
Collection and Use of Hotel Tax
- Have airbnb collect and pay the Hotel Tax for all listings as they do in Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and Chicago.
- Use 5% of the new revenue from Hotel Tax to fund registration outreach and enforcement activities.
Use of Permit Number
- As discussed elsewhere, your ordinance should require that the host’s permit number appear in all online advertising.
- To its credit, airbnb has added a “Permit Number” field to it listings. When a host enters a Permit the number appears as the last item in the Pricing section of the listing.
- Have your Compliance Officer use the airbnb “Contact Host” function to send an e-mail to all listings who do not display a Permit #.
Other Outreach Activities
- The City should request airbnb to send an e-mail to the airbnb Portland Community advising them of the new ordinance and the need to register.
- Your City and airbnb should work together as “shared city” partners to set a date in time by which any listing in Portland not displaying a Permit number will be removed.
- Your City Should follow San Francisco in specifying the fines associated with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th violations.