After North Side shooting, City Council to introduce legislation on short-term rental properties
After a shooting that left two 17-year-olds dead during a party at an Airbnb on Saturday night, Pittsburgh City Councilor Bobby Wilson said city council will introduce legislation on Tuesday to regulate short-term rental properties.
The ordinance would require owners of short-term rental properties to get a license from the city's Permits License and inspections office. The city must be provided information like the number of people allowed to stay on the property, how many beds available, and who owns the property.
Owners will have to pay a fee based on the number of bedrooms a property has. And the license would have to be renewed annually.
"You have Airbnb, which is a large, faceless company that makes it easy for individuals to go online and get a rental, just as easy as it is to order a sandwich" Wilson said. "I think Airbnb needs to try to understand how they can do a better job as well."
On Sunday Airbnb confirmed that the property was rented through them, and said the person who booked the space received a lifetime ban. The company said that the host, who banned parties in the listing and advertised an overnight noise curfew, was not aware of the event.
Wilson said this would be the first legislation introduced by council to address short-term rental properties. The city currently has a 2013 law on the books that levies a $500 fine against hosts of events where underage drinking takes place. But Councilor Bruce Kraus, who sponsored that bill, said little has been done to enforce it.
"I had extensive conversations with Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak this morning about the ordinance and if there were ways to tighten it up," he said. "The only thing that I can see that we would be able to address might be the dollar amount of the fine."
Kraus said that on Friday, a similar party happened in his district in the South Side neighborhood. It did not end in a deadly shooting, but Kraus said if the 2013 ordinance had been enforced it could have helped.
Kraus said the new legislation would be "one piece of the puzzle, but it's a much bigger problem to solve."
This story was updated to further clarify the legislation.