Short-Term rentals, especially Airbnb, had revolutionized the lodging market. Some of these online home-sharing companies offer more listings than the top five major hotel brands have, combined. Unsurprisingly, these additional lodging options have kept both bed and breakfast and hotel rates in check. Hotel rooms that would often sell out now typically remain open during peak periods. Our industry has always welcomed competition; however, it is essential that any competitor experience fair and equitable regulation and treatment like our hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Among other things, hotels and bed and breakfasts are required to:
- obtain a license/occupancy permit to operate and are subject to the Uniform Construction Code for new construction and renovations;
- remit hotel occupancy tax and local county/city room tax;
- purchase commercial insurance;
- have annual inspections of boilers, fire extinguishers, etc.;
- adhere to local zoning ordinances; and
- have adequate parking available.
MANY VOICES - ONE STRONG MESSAGE
As a registered B&B/owner, please help us make a strong statement to our community leaders that the B&B industry is being unfairly impacted by short-term rental platforms. Our goal is to educate units of local governments, legislators and other entities on how can we level the playing field. Please make a commitment to:
- Find out if your Township/Borough/City has a short-term rental ordinance.
- If your Township/Borough/City does not have a short-term rental ordinance, send a letter to your local elected officials (mayor, zoning officer, township manager/supervisor, township/borough commissioners) to discuss the importance of having some type of ordinance to regulate home-sharing platforms to protect the safety of guests staying at a short-term rental and neighbors.
- If your Township/Borough/City has a short-term rental ordinance, ensure that it provides safe and comfortable lodging and fair operating requirements (licensing, insurance, occupancy limits, etc.). If not, send a letter to your local elected officials referencing the document entitled "Requirments for Short-Term Rental Ordinances" prepared by the PA Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (PABBI).
- If not a member of PABBI, join your statewide trade organization to show your support of our advocacy and educational efforts regarding this very critical issue. The larger our trade organization, the stronger our leverage with local and state officials and legislators. Click here to join.
To assist you, PABBI has developed a Short-Term Rentals Toolkit that includes:
- PABBI’s Short-Term Rental Policy
- Requirements for Short-Term Rental Ordinances
- Talking Points
- Sample Letter to Your Local Officials
- Sample Article for publication in your community newsletter or website
- Educational Online Home Sharing Rack Card
- PABBI Letter to Pittsburgh City Council Members & the Mayor
- PRLA Letter to Pittsburgh City Council
Please take action today. Keep PABBI apprised of your effort. You can email or call Rose Mape, PABBI Director, at 717-525-7799.
SHORT-TERM RENTAL REGUALTION REOURCES
The Lancaster County Planning Commission developed a “Short-Term Rental Regulation” planning document to assist local officials in understanding the potential impact of short-term rental hosts and how to craft implementable planning and regulatory language. Sample ordinances are included for consideration.
Monroe County developed a Model Short-Term Rental Ordiance for their Townships and Boroughs.