Bill on Senate floor would regulate Airbnb in Virginia, enforcing rules in Virginia Beach

Posted at 8:06 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 22:33:44-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A move by state lawmakers could change The way people in Hampton Roads rent out their homes on Airbnb or online. It could also affect people who want to visit the resort city.

On Airbnb, there are more than 300 places people can stay if they want to visit Virginia Beach. Prices range from $15 to $1800.

A host with Airbnb who asked us to hide her identity said she's registered with the city and pays taxes, but doesn't agree with the law.

"We just want the opportunity to thrive and be economically successful. I don't think we're providing competition to the hotels as they perceive us. The people who come stay with us are looking for a completely different experience."

SB 1578 just hit the Senate floor Friday. It would allow cities to charge $500 to hosts who do not register. It also gives cities the power to decide to allow short-term rentals or not. If you have someone who just wants to rent out a bedroom in their home I just don`t feel it`s necessary to have them register and report all that.'

"If you have someone who just wants to rent out a bedroom in their home I just don't feel it's necessary to have them register and report all that," said the host.

In Virginia Beach, there are currently 176 registered short-term rentals. So far, the city has collected close to $270,000 in taxes.

The host News 3's Kim Cung spoke with said she runs everything in her rental top notch. She rents out a separate property than her house.

“I think that even as a professional in the business, we do everything top notch. And I know not everybody handles it that way and I appreciate that. But at the same time you have landlords who don’t maintain their properties either, so there has to be a self-regulation that happens there," said the host.

Now, the host wants the city to accept the ever-changing world of technology and innovation.

"They need to get onboard with how quickly things are changing. So that Uber an Airbnb and things that allow the regular citizens an opportunity to get there and hustle,"

There will be a final vote for SB 1578 next week .