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Pittsburgh City Council makes changes to short-term rental bill

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilor Bobby Wilson has added new accountability provisions to a bill to regulate short-term rental properties. But it is not clear when the measure will come up for a final vote

The bill was introduced in April after a shooting at an Airbnb on the city's North Side. It requires owners of short-term rentals to become licensed with the city in order to offer the properties. And on Wednesday, Wilson added amendments that would require each property to have a responsible local agent on file.

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If the owner of the property does not live within Allegheny County, another resident or a professional licensed real estate management firm with a local office must be authorized by the owner to be responsible for operating the property.

Other amendments include: requiring an audit by the city to ensure short term rental properties are in compliance with local requirements; adding a sticker to clearly mark a property as a short-term rental; and having a public online database of properties and their owners.

Such measures would help law enforcement "to connect public safety better to a short-term rental property that would have a party not in agreement with a lease," Wilson said. "It provides transparency to who owns the property."

But he said he wants to hold the bill before council can take a preliminary vote on it so he can talk to Mayor Ed Gainey's administration to see if they have any additional amendments to the bill.

The bill was originally introduced as a response to a shooting at an unauthorized party at an Airbnb on Easter weekend. The shooting left two teens dead. Police have yet to arrest a suspect.