SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Springfield City Council is introducing a draft of legislation right now to regulate the city of Springfield’s short-term room rentals.
With the growing market of short-term rentals, Councilor Jesse Lederman is sponsoring this new legislation that would add tax to the rental price of a room and will also require you to meet regulations if you want to rent out a room in your home.
"Right now, there are no short-term regulations in the city of Springfield," Councilor Lederman tells us.
That’s in the process of changing.
Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman is sponsoring legislation, being heard for the first time on Thursday night, to regulate short-term room rentals.
One of the most popular short-term rental sites right now is the online platform Airbnb.
The site allows homeowners to rent out rooms in their house or apartment for guests to stay in, similar to a hotel.
This legislation would increase the room tax for someone renting and would also require the homeowner renting out the room to meet specific regulations, but Lederman tells Western Mass News that the proposal is aimed to protect the city.
"We do see a growing market in Springfield for online, short-term rentals, and that can be a positive thing, but we want to ensure these type of operations respect the residential integrity of our neighborhoods. There’s been quite a few folks that have called in, both residents issuing a complaint or operators calling saying, 'I want to do this. How can I do this responsibly?'," continued Councilor Lederman.
His proposal comes with rules for the homeowner, requiring off street parking, registering with the city of Springfield, an inspection every year in order to make sure the room is clean and safe, and an appropriate number of guests at a time.
"What we’ve heard from neighbors to these facilities is that they want to make sure you don’t have a potentially dangerous situation and make sure these aren’t rented by the hour for parties and things like that. In the communities that it happens in, it also takes the property away from its intended use, which is residential in nature," added Councilor Lederman.
This is the first draft of the legislation, which is expected to be heard by the rest of city council in the near future.
Lederman tells us that if this is passed, they will give homeowners an appropriate amount of time to meet their new short-term rental regulations.