Thursday, November 29, 2018

Update on Airbnb (aka short term occupancy rentals)

I was invited to a gathering last night of people interested in this subject.  40 people showed up, half of whom are currently doing short term rentals in Plainfield.  The other half attended to show support for those that are renting to the burgeoning market of renters who are booking through Airbnb, Home Away, VRBO and other websites.

There was a consensus to reach out to municipal officials after the organizers collect input from those in attendance and draft recommendations to share with city hall.  I promised to alert elected officials of what is happening and have started to do so.

Many of the rentals are in the second ward but I was surprised to see, by a show of hands, that these rentals are happening in all four wards.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Airbnb in Plainfield

There is a minor Airbnb presence in Plainfield and it presents an opportunity for our city.  Airbnb is permitted in New Jersey under state law.  This law requires landlords to charge a state occupancy tax and also allows municipalities to charge a local occupancy tax by local ordinance. 

I learned that Plainfield Airbnb attracts people who want an inexpensive rental experience in an up and coming city that offers diverse cultural attractions (ethnic cuisine for example) and interesting history and architecture.  Our two train stations offer an easy ride to Newark and Manhattan for business trips and tourism. 

Cities like Newark and Asbury Park have jumped on this bandwagon.  I looked at the Asbury Park ordinance and it addresses resident concerns by requiring renters to be at minimum 21 years of age and it requires the landlord to live in the building where the units are being rented.  These municipalities not only receive fee revenues but they regulate the rentals (which also include rentals through VRBO and Home Away) through a registration and inspection process.

I am doing more research and will be sharing information with Plainfield officials with the idea of presenting an ordinance to the Council for consideration in 2019.