New city rules proposed for short-term rentals: 90-night-a-year limit for many

A new move today in the city’s attempts to address the affordable-housing crisis: New rules proposed to crack down on alleged abuse of the new technology-enabled short-term-rental market. Here’s the announcement, just out of the WSB inbox:

Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Tim Burgess today announced a proposal to prevent long-term rental units from being converted to short-term rentals, while still providing residents the flexibility to earn additional income by renting out their homes.

The measure focuses on commercial operators who use platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, to rent multiple properties year-round. Approximately 80 percent of existing short-term rentals in Seattle will see no new regulations.

“Property owners are shifting hundreds of homes from the long-term residential market to short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, and in doing so dangerously reduce our housing supply,” said Councilmember Burgess, chair of the Council’s Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee. “At the same time, Seattle homeowners offering short-term rentals in their own homes earn valuable supplemental income. These proposed regulations focus narrowly on the commercial operators that take advantage of home-sharing platforms to exacerbate our housing crisis.”

Under the proposed rules, any property may be provided as a short-term rental for up to 90 nights in a 12 month period. Only properties that are the primary residence of the short-term rental operator will be allowed to rent past the 90-night threshold. The primary residency requirement will curtail the growing year-round commercial operation of these platforms.

“We must protect our existing rental housing supply at a time when it is becoming harder for residents to find an affordable home in Seattle,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This proposal ensures that apartments and houses are not being used exclusively as short-term rentals, while still providing a means for homeowners to earn some extra money by occasionally renting out their property.”

Consistent with current City rules, all short-term rental operators must secure a City business license tax certificate and pay all applicable taxes.

“Our communities are facing steep rent increases and having difficulty staying in their homes, and the fast growing short-term rental industry is making it worse,” said Rebecca Saldaña, Executive Director at Puget Sound Sage. “The Mayor and Councilmember Burgess have started an important conversation about how short-term rentals should help, and not hurt, people who want to stay in Seattle.”

The small percentage of operators renting their primary residence for more than 90 nights will be required to also obtain a City regulatory license. This license will require proof that the unit being rented is the operator’s primary residence, proof of liability insurance that covers the short-term rental use, a local contact number for guests, a signed declaration that the unit meets building and life safety codes, and basic safety information posted for guests in the unit.

Under the proposed regulations, all short-term rental platform companies will also need to obtain a new regulatory license with the City. The platforms will be required to give the City limited data on a quarterly basis necessary for enforcement of the proposed law.

More information on the proposals can be found in these documents:

· One-page summary
· Frequently asked questions
· Detailed policy brief

The proposal is due to get its first council review before the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee two weeks from today, 9:30 am Wednesday, June 15th.

60 Replies to "New city rules proposed for short-term rentals: 90-night-a-year limit for many"

  • Gene June 1, 2016 (10:33 am)

    Wow- once again- property owners are the ” go to” guys for Seattle Government- tax-tax- tax  property & now mandate how long you can rent- short term. Is enough never enough here?

  • Scott June 1, 2016 (10:41 am)

    Our Mayor and Council members overstepping there bounds again. 

  • Bonnie June 1, 2016 (11:15 am)

    Shouldn’t people have a say with what they can and cannot do with their property?  

    • forgotmyname June 1, 2016 (11:31 am)

      Absolutely not.  Society in general, and living in a community specifically, requires giving up the ability to “do whatever you want”. 

      • Michael June 1, 2016 (5:37 pm)

        Seems to me there is a difference between having a say and being able to do whatever you want.  We live in a democratic society after all.  I don’t have a problem with property owners having a say in how they are taxed and what they can do with their property, that seems to be the purpose of electing city council officials to me.

  • sna June 1, 2016 (11:16 am)


  • Nancy R June 1, 2016 (11:17 am)

    This makes total sense,  and sounds very fair.  We own a VRBO/AirBNB owner on Whidbey Island and have thought about renting out our West Seattle rental house in the same way.   Instead,  I’ll be renting it out to provide long-term housing which Seattle so badly needs.   90 days is a fair number,  and there is no limit if you are primary resident in the home (ie an Airbnb host not a commercial operator).   Good job Mayor Murray and staff!

  • Justme June 1, 2016 (11:20 am)

    Good move. A nice home near me sits vacant most of the time, with only the occasional vacation renter using it. It’s an investment vehicle for speculation, plain and simple, and it prevents a family from living there.

    Side note, please WSB don’t casually parrot the mayor’s “affordability crisis” language as if it were a truly self-evident fact, when it is just a politician’s opinion (an opinion that many do not agree with). Seattle is still affordable compared to the other large west coast cities, and there is no shortage of truly affordable housing in neighboring cities like Renton, Seatac, Burien etc.  I think it hinders honest dialogue when the media echo politician’s soundbites without critically analyzing them first. 

    • WSB June 1, 2016 (11:32 am)

      Justme, I’m not “parroting” anyone’s language. If it were a quote, I’d use quotation marks. I see facts including rents, home listing/sale prices, and salaries in my research continuously (including information about other cities on both coasts). You are of course welcome to disagree that it’s a crisis but please don’t accuse me of “parroting” anyone. Thanks. – Tracy

      • JanS June 1, 2016 (12:28 pm)

        Hear! Hear! TR…..thanks for the coverage. It’s OK to disagree with you, but not ok to tell you how to do your job !

    • JanS June 1, 2016 (12:22 pm)

      affordable for who? you? good for you! I’ve been a resident of West Seattle for 40+ years, and due to illness/disability etc will probably be homeless on the next rent increase…because my income is limited. Do not hand me that line about being more affordable than other big cities….rents in Seattle increased 11% in May alone !

    • Joe Szilagyi June 1, 2016 (7:43 pm)

      “don’t casually parrot the mayor’s “affordability crisis” language as if it were a truly self-evident fact, when it is just a politician’s opinion (an opinion that many do not agree with).”

      People are not entitled to their own facts. The affordability crisis is quite real and backed with mounds of statistical and economic evidence. 
      Denying it’s existence is unfortunately like believing the currently trendy anti-vaccine hokum, that climate change is not real, that trickle-down economics or austerity policies have any evidence of ever having any beneficial impact on society, or that the Earth is in fact not mostly spherical.
      • Justme June 1, 2016 (8:23 pm)

        People are not entitled to their own facts.”

        I agree with you wholeheartedly, Joe. As an engineer/scientist myself I have a skeptical mind and want to see evidence before I make decisions. And it is precisely this evidence seeking that leads me to the conclusion that there is no crisis.   

        Here is a fact. Home affordability in King County is well within historic normal ranges. The graph below takes into account the median home price, median household wages, current mortgage interest rates, and the 30% home payment to income rule of thumb to calculate an index of how many households can afford houses at any given point in time. Look at that graph and tell me again how we are in a crisis. Go ahead, I’ll wait. This chart is from November, but things have not changed drastically since (in fact incomes are up and interest rates are lower).

        (graph is from Seattle Bubble Blog,

        Sorry for the harsh tone of my original post, WSB. I appreciate the tremendous asset you are to West Seattle. 

        • bill bob June 2, 2016 (8:01 am)

          I’m a working engineer too. It is a fact that I had to move from Seattle because of the cost of living. We are a one income family, due to health problems. I cannot support my family in Seattle on an Engineer’s wage. That is a problem. I don’t care what your graph says. I moved to another city (that I won’t disclose for fear of others moving here) where I was paid a slightly higher wage and have less expensive rent. I can afford my new home. I miss West Seattle. That is why I still check this blog. I wanted to live there my whole life, but I was priced out. 

          • Scott C June 15, 2016 (3:51 pm)

            Bill Bob,

            I am sorry for your circumstances, but here is reality.  Not everyone gets everything they want.  Whether due to circumstances, luck (good or bad), hard work or lack thereof, or just inherent earning ability based on your intrinsic qualities, some will live in mansions and some in trailers.  That doesn’t mean we should change the playing field to address that.  That is socialism.  And Justme has provided in one simple, cogent chart the reality.   

  • The Truth June 1, 2016 (11:24 am)

    I respect the Mayor and Council trying to help in the crisis but this is the wrong approach and a gross overreach.  This is a backdoor approach to enact some sort of rent control on these units effected.  If they want to create rules for moving forward that if you receive tax breaks/exemptions for construction projects moving forward for low income housing and create a ban on this then fine.  Going back and changing the game on people who have bought buildings and figured this income into their ability to pay off the building loan is poor form.

    The answer is not always to tax or penalize the property owners.

  • dave June 1, 2016 (11:25 am)

    let’s just screw the middle class some more.  so ridiculous.   quit giving 50 million a yr to homeless and adding property taxes to middle class.  U wonder why rent is expensive?  end property tax increases.  middle class is bottom of list for politicians in this city.  

  • The Truth June 1, 2016 (11:26 am)

    Also, where do they think the lost income will be made up?  I have a guess, rent increases for everyone else in the building………

  • John June 1, 2016 (11:59 am)

    NO!…..enough is enough.  I planned my retirement based on my rental.  Now the City is going to tell me to go back to work and make an income some other way.

    I’m already getting taxed out of retirement. 

    • WSB June 1, 2016 (12:10 pm)

      I don’t know that this is necessarily a done deal – so I was remiss not to add information on how to comment. Certainly our area’s councilmember, Lisa Herbold, at – as well as other councilmembers, especially sponsor Tim Burgess (who is now one of the two “at-large” [citywide] councilmembers), – TR

    • JanS June 1, 2016 (1:09 pm)

      yeah…I planned for my retirement, too…and then illness and disability took all that away…stuff happens…it’s sad…butIMHO, never build your retirement around other people’s whims…

      • Scott C June 15, 2016 (3:53 pm)

        Government policy should not be a “whim” where people’s lives are affected based on misguided attempts to manipulate a free market.

    • Michael June 1, 2016 (5:45 pm)

      Do you intend to do short-term rentals with your unit?  Do you believe the short term rental will make you more money than renting to a local family?  These are honest questions from a non-property owner, I’d like to understand both sides before supporting or opposing this.

      The way I read this, if you own your rental you are still free to rent it out on a short term basis with additional licensing from the city (which makes sense because then you’re more like a hotel) or rent it out long-term to a family in Seattle who needs a home just like you can today.  I think with this proposal there’s still room for everyone to be happy.

  • Nora June 1, 2016 (12:02 pm)

    And we know that it’s single family rental property owners marketing their houses for short-term rentals that are the cause of rent increases, and not the influx of people coming to work for Amazon, Google, et al?

    • JanS June 1, 2016 (12:25 pm)

      it’s not causing the rent increase per se…it just takes those places off the market for the people who live here. Less available units for the people who already live here…supply and demand +rent increases.

    • Michael June 1, 2016 (5:50 pm)

      Why does it have to be one or the other?  Markets are generally subject to influence from both supply and demand.  It seems reasonable to think that rents are going up because we have more people moving here and there are not enough places for them all to live.  Short term rentals have the effect of lowering supply of long-term housing which further increases prices.

      Yes, there are a lot of people moving to the area to work for tech companies but I don’t think its hard to find someone who moved to Seattle in the last 5 years and doesn’t have a tech job.  The entire region is growing and jobs are being created across the entire economy, not just in the tech sector.

  • ACG June 1, 2016 (12:28 pm)

    Well, I don’t think anyone should worry. Since it looks like they are changing the zoning laws in regards to mother in laws and ADU’s (removing the building e restrictions and parking requirements) anyone can now build two more units on their property and rent those out too!  Plenty of days of rentals that way. Yippee for the loss of single family homes and neighborhoods!!!!

  • old timer June 1, 2016 (12:37 pm)

    So, regarding all those back-yard cottages and garage enhancements “the planners” wanted.

    If they were to be paid for by this AIR-B&B method, are those folks screwed?

    And now, those contentious non-parking apodments are being used as hotels and not permanent residences?.

    I can sort of  understand the large  blocks of new apartments taken off the rental market being targeted, but after that, stuff gets very fuzzy IMO.

    Some of my references are from this morning’s Times article and not all from the above WSB text.

    • WSB June 1, 2016 (12:50 pm)

      So far, relatively few backyard cottages have been built – 221 in six years, according to the announcement of CM Mike O’Brien’s proposal to make them easier to build – so that’s kind of a moot point. I still don’t see them turn up very often in the building-permit application files, which I check daily. O’Brien’s proposal would among other things loosen the rules on renting them, so would seem to some degree at odds with the intention of this proposal – TR

  • sam-c June 1, 2016 (12:41 pm)

    Based on the first couple lines of the 2nd paragraph, I thought they were focusing on ‘commercial operators’ that use air bnb to rent out property, not individuals.     Did I read that wrong?

  • WSB June 1, 2016 (12:57 pm)

    The FAQ might be the most helpful doc for anyone interested in further details. It says 80 percent of the people who do this kind of renting won’t be affected. It’s the second of the three links in the blue-block news-release text toward the end.  – TR

  • Heather June 1, 2016 (2:16 pm)

    Sam-c is correct. This is focused on large scale commercial operators not the single family house that rents out a room, the basement or your mother-in-law…. for which you currently, as the owner, have to occupy your property. If you don’t live on the property, you can, and always have been able to rent it out F/T. It’s really a zoning issue. Areas where single family homes are built are not zoned for hotel use. You can still rent your property. We all have to adhere to city zoning and you always have the option of buying a building that is zone as mixed-use or multi-family. This seems reasonable to me.

  • Heather June 1, 2016 (2:21 pm)

    Personally, I think we’re incredibly lucky to be able to rent out temporarily any portion of our home. And I think the only reason you can do so is that, I believe, a single family home can have a maximum of 8 people in residence. Since many people have a smaller household, that gives you the opportunity to rent some of your space temporarily without taxing city services or greatly affecting your neighborhood. Capitalism as its finest in my opinion.

  • Heather June 1, 2016 (2:24 pm)

    Geez sorry about all the spelling errors – I’m on my phone and clearly can’t edit properly.

  • plf June 1, 2016 (3:36 pm)

    Im sorry last I looked I owned my proptery and god knows I pay the proptery taxes

    Murry and the council are so far left and I find it absolutely disgusting the long arm they impose

    Fire Murray he is a one timer 

  • Mickymse June 1, 2016 (4:09 pm)

    I’m wondering if the same people who are so angry about “government overreach” here are also the same people who complain about neighbors renting out their houses and not taking care of the property or strangers parking all over the street in front of their homes. You know those things are all related, right? And that what is being proposed doesn’t prevent you from renting out your property long-term OR from renting out a room or a mother-in-law over the garage or a basement apartment as a short-term rental. It is ONLY TARGETED at non-owner-occupied short term rentals.

  • Trickycoolj June 1, 2016 (4:25 pm)

    I don’t see the problem in this proposal. You want to make a few bucks renting your spare bedroom/basement/garage with air mattress great, you can do so all you want. If you want to buy investment properties all over the city to hide your savings from your communist government (hello China looking at you) and rent it on AirBnB instead of rent it to working class folks that aren’t working for our High Tech Overlords downtown then go invest elsewhere. Might help the neighborhoods that have vacation rentals problems attracting woo girls and frat guys for bachelor/ette weekends making the lives of the neighbor’s who actually live here and need to go to bed because they’re not on vacation miserable. 

  • Thistlemist June 1, 2016 (5:21 pm)

    I am 100% for this! I love and use airbnb but there are reasonable limits to what a single family zoned neighborhood should have to put up with. Again, these regulations do NOT effect the perfectly reasonable homeowner who wants to make a side income renting out the apartment above their garage or snow birds looking to rent their home while down south for a few months. What it does do is address actual documented issues that have come to light: I.E. the micro housing development renting 70% of its units on short term bases through airbnb (even though it was consistently stated that these sites were true apartments, not hotels/boarding houses) and several examples of SF homes being marketed and used only as wedding/event sites, something that many residential zoning codes would NOT normally allow for (think about living next door to a home with three to four backyard weddings happening each week). There is a big difference between a  licensed B&B type property that has to fallow many different development and operation rules and a unregulated hotel running out of a single family home.

  • Jw June 1, 2016 (5:52 pm)

    1. And so begins the new and improved 9 month lease option. Now you can jack up your rent by hundreds every new lease period without complaints. Plus you can use your home as a vacation spot in the summer when it’s not rented! 

  • Mr.B June 1, 2016 (6:21 pm)

    Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Seattle. 

  • JayDee June 1, 2016 (7:20 pm)

    C’Mon people be reasonable.  90 days as year as a rental.  Sure you score some bucks but not at the expense of your neighbors. That is why the hood is single family  housing zoned.  It is why your house value is high according to property value. Mr. B : Seriously?  Nothing keeps your from being a BNB only property manager, but it will tax you as such. To each according to their means.  

  • Community Member June 2, 2016 (7:23 am)

    This would make more sense if it was being proposed simply as a clarification/update of rules for businesses operating in residential zones, instead of something addressed at affordability.  


    Of course there are limits on the types of businesses that operate in residential zones. I can have a party, but I cannot convert my home into a nightclub. I can play music, but I cannot convert my home into a Showbox-type concert venue. I can have a home office, or start a software company in my garage, but I probably cannot have 150 software engineers working in cubicles in my home. Similarly, I can run an owner-occupied bed-and-breakfast, or have a limited number of short-term rental days, but I cannot convert my home  into a hotel.


    I think these are reasonable rules for single-family areas. I’m not so sure they are reasonable in mixed-use areas. Why not  allow hotel-type properties as part of mixed-use neighborhoods?

    • Scupper June 4, 2016 (1:24 pm)

      I see your points but would rather have a single short term rental unit next door to me rather than a B&B that can have up to 3 rooms rented out. I’m also guessing that mixed use areas are where someone looking in Seattle to live would find most affordable. Most the high density apartments are zoned for those areas. West Seattle has exactly 1 motel  and is a “value” motel at that. I think the mayor & council are throwing too large of a net when they include West Seattle in their proposal. Those renting out multiple units on a short term bases should probably be scrutinized closer and agree with you should be viewed as a commercial hotel.

    • JanS June 4, 2016 (2:12 pm)

      @Community member…why not use your commercial building as a hotel? You mean like some of the micro housing guys are doing? You want an effing hotel, put in parking. No breaks on that. The new ones coming up on Avalon, for instance…none are required to have parking, and they save money that way. The city approves. And tourists rent cars…they don’t bus it around the city much on Metro. Where are those cars going to park on a street like Avalon, already crowded, some by residents, some by non residents who use it as their park and ride. Thank about it. If they want a frigging hotel, then they should build one. Period.

  • BrassyMomma June 3, 2016 (4:22 am)

    My young child and I got two weeks notice the house we were sharing is going to now be an Airbnb. They will make less than the rent I was paying after the cleaning, time, etc factors in. But, everyone’s a spec landlord now.

    Third place in 18 months to shove us out for incredibly higher rents, sudden sales, and now this. I don’t have time or financial cushion to try to get legal help, let alone tenant’s rights advice – I work more than fulltime at one job and part time at another, plus parenting alone. So, off we go to move number four.

    Slap these AirBnBs around a bit. 

    • Rhonda Porter June 4, 2016 (11:25 am)

      BrassyMomma, you don’t have to hire an attorney. If you have less than 30 days notice, I believe the City of Seattle will be all over that with their new RRIO regulations. 

      Out of curiosity, what type of property were you living in? Was it a single family residence? Condo? Were you renting a room? Was the home in West Seattle?

  • Rhonda Porter June 4, 2016 (10:16 am)

    This is not just focused on large scale operators. This will impact all vacation rentals when the property is not occupied by the owner – those who have basement dwellings, backyard cottages or ADU’s may not be impacted by the 90 day limit. However, those who have a second home – even if they just have one vacation rental – will be restricted to 90 days as the proposed legislation stands.

    90 days is not enough time to break even on a vacation rental. We have a limited high season (summer) and sometimes folks will rent a weekend in one month or week in another month — making it difficult, if not impossible, to rent the home to a “long term” renter for the remaining “9 months”… and who rents for 9 months?  Burgess has 90 days in order to discourage any one from owning a vacation rental.

     Vacation rentals are also furnished properties – which are more expensive to rent and probably won’t allow pets.  These types of properties Burgess has his eyes on will not add to the rental stock for “affordable housing” in West Seattle. 

    We have a second home that we are using as a vacation rental. This gives us the flexibility to have our kids, friends and family stay when they come to visit and to have as a vacation rental when it’s not reserved for family.  This is part of our retirement plan. Should Burgess be successful with the 90 day limit – this home will not be on the long term rental market.  The home was vacant for over 4 years — no one bought it at the foreclosure auction.  The only serious offers were from people wanting to tear it down. It’s an original Seattle home that we have restored and may someday retire in.

    West Seattle has one small hotel. Our neighborhood is well served by vacation rentals. We’ve just started doing this and a majority of our guest either live in West Seattle and wanted a “stay-cation” or have family visiting and wanted them to stay nearby instead of going downtown or don’t want the “hotel experience”.   

    When people rent a home in West Seattle for their vacation – this translates to spending in West Seattle at restaurants and shops. If they are forced to go downtown to where the hotels are, our neighborhood will lose those tourist dollars.

    • AMD June 4, 2016 (11:24 am)

      Students gobble up off-season 9-month rentals.  If I’m understanding this correctly, it would only apply to homes within the city.  How many spare/vacation homes do people have within city limits?  

      • Rhonda Porter June 4, 2016 (12:23 pm)


        West Seattle would be included in this regulation.

        Student housing falls under affordable housing. Furnished “vacation homes” including ours,  are not going to be affordable for a student. 

        West Seattle is also not convenient for most students if they have to commute to a Seattle college everyday. 

  • Rhonda Porter June 4, 2016 (11:35 am)

    In my opinion, it’s not short term rentals that are impacting Seattle rents… there are a lot of people who became “accidental landlords” during the housing meltdown. People were not able to sell their homes because of the drop in values a few years back. Now that prices are much higher, home owners who never intended on being long-term landlords can easily sell their property. 

    We have a strong employment market with the tech jobs – that is driving up housing prices and rents in Seattle as well.  We also have a lot of cash and foreign buyers in Seattle – driving home prices higher.  Homes are in high demand, there is not a lot in listing inventory and that’s driving prices higher and taking home rentals off the market. Vacation rentals are not the real issue – just an easy target.

     Don’t we have a glut of apartment units coming online for rentals?

    • JanS June 4, 2016 (2:21 pm)

      @Rhonda Porter..yes, there  are huge amounts of apartments being built in West Seattle. But at what price? There are many, many of us who don’t have the incomes to pay the exorbitant rents that are being asked. Remember that old thing about supply and demand? Many of us here are on fixed incomes. I’m 69, on SS, and I didn’t get my generous 1.7 % COLA this year, yet in the last couple of years my rent has increased 33%. I’ve been here in WS for 41+ years. And if I get another rent increase (likely). I will most likely end up on the street, as I simply can’t afford more. I don’t have a partner to help me out, or a job at Amazon/Google/Microsoft that would allow me to simply enjoy being semi-retired/disabled while pushing 70. Yes, I still work part time. I’m sorry this is going to harm those that already have in some small way…there’s a bigger picture here for many of us, and finally someone is trying to do something about it. To those complaining about new regs that may happen in this city who have the luxury of owning two or more homes, so they can make extra bucks, I say “BooHoo”

      • Scupper June 4, 2016 (3:16 pm)

        @Jans. I believe your sentiments sum up much of the attitudes pushing this legislation… ” it may not be effective at what we’re trying to accomplish but by golly, those well-to-doers will sure feel the pinch!” How about taking those tax dollars paid by well-to-do tourists/ landlords  and earmark them to help your situation to create affordable housing. I guarantee you that the current Mayor and Council members will  be quick to take credit for all the new high tech/high paying companies moving into the region but will TOTALLY avoid taking responsibility for any of the side effects it caused.

  • Scupper June 4, 2016 (12:57 pm)

    The most likely candidates for renting out vacation homes for over the 30 day minimum would be corporate execs from out of town.. Still doesn’t add to the desired affect the mayor is looking for. It’s ironic that the proposed legislation excludes and favors homeowners that rent entire apartment units out of their primary residence. Please convince me that these owners aren’t going to evict local people like BrassyMomma to fill the void of short term rental supply caused by the new laws. As usually the case with over legislation, it will cause the exact opposite effect they desire.

  • anonyme June 4, 2016 (2:10 pm)

    Big smile and thumbs up to Tricky!

  • Rhonda Porter June 4, 2016 (5:49 pm)


    Our vacation home only being rented to vacationers who spend money in West Seattle for 90 days will not create affordable housing.

    The current regulations will hurt West Seattle employees when the tourism dollars leave for downtown Seattle.

    I don’t expect or ask for your anyone’s sympathy, I am just trying to share the other side of the story…and at that, we are just one story. 

  • Scott C June 15, 2016 (3:48 pm)

    In reading through the comments, there is a common theme, at least amongst some of the commenters.  And it is reflective of the Mayor’s thought process.

     Privately owned property is not here to serve the greater good.  As US citizens, we have the right to work hard, save our money, and purchase property.  We also have the responsibility to pay taxes for services that are important to us all, and one of the “upsides” of having a more valuable home is more taxes, but so be it.

    However, a home, or for that matter a building, apartment, condo, etc, is not a public asset.  Therefore, whether or not there is a shortage of affordable housing in this city or not, dictating how a homeowner may use their home to address that shortage is patently unfair.  It smacks of a socialist mindset that runs counter to what made this country great.  I’m not saying that a homeowner should be able to “do whatever they want”, but limiting the number of days a property may be rented to an arbitrary number simply isn’t fair.  What’s more, changing long standing rules mid-stream is incredibly unfair.  What about the people who have made decisions on purchasing and renting property based on “the rules”?  We change the rules on them so that their business proposition doesn’t work anymore?   

     I am amazed by comments such as the one above that decries a home that is usually empty, and is clearly just an investment.  So?  Whose business is that?  As long as the home is maintained, it’s up to the owner…not you, not me, and not the city of Seattle.  Just because someone who is looking for a place to live could potentially move into one of these properties, doesn’t mean that we should force that to happen.  It’s a free market economy.  If there is enough need for homes, people will build them, people will buy them.  That is the solution.  Not damaging people’s livelihoods. 




    • Scott June 15, 2016 (4:30 pm)

      I agree and if there was a like button there would be a like. 

    • AMD June 15, 2016 (4:47 pm)

      It’s a regulation.  Regulations exist for a reason.  Not every regulation is an attempt to destroy the free market.  There are regulations in place governing hotels.  There are regulations in place governing rentals.  This conversation didn’t come out of thin air.  There are people essentially running hotels but calling them rentals and skirting appropriate regulations in the process.  There’s nothing malicious or socialist about forcing people to play by the rules when they refuse to do so voluntarily.

      • Scupper June 15, 2016 (5:17 pm)

        @AMD Do you know of any “people essentially running hotels but calling them rentals and skirting appropriate regulations” here in West Seattle? Does West Seattle have a hotel infrastructure to handle guests looking to visit local family members? I’m wondering if this regulation should even apply in District 1. What are you thoughts?

  • Crissy June 15, 2016 (4:25 pm)

    @Scott C  

    Well said!

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