Decatur creating guidelines for incoming Airbnb’s

Airbnb guidelines being formed in Decatur
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - City leaders in Decatur say, like it or not, short-term rentals are increasing in popularity in the city, but they are taking steps to make sure those rentals are managed the right way.

There are currently around 30 short-term rental properties within Decatur city limits.

“We see the trend coming,” said Director for Economic & Community Development, Dane Shaw. “Airbnb’s are all over the United States right now.”

Technically, the City of Decatur does not allow short-term rentals like Airbnb’s because of an ordinance approved in July 2016.

“We really don’t have any sort of way to regulate Airbnb’s,” Shaw said.

Shaw said with more rentals on the way, the city is coming together to decide how to best monitor the properties.

“We are getting a group together of our stakeholders from across the city to look at how to best facilitate Airbnb’s so it’s good for the city and also good for the rentals,” Shaw said.

Most of the short-term rentals are in homes in residential districts.

“Before an Airbnb is going into a certain neighborhood, we want to make sure it is going to be more profitable because of that and not bring down the neighborhood,” Shaw said.

On Wednesday, Airbnb announced it is permanently banning parties on its properties.

“The cities that have done well with Airbnb’s have put some sort of boundaries, guidelines if you will, to be sustainable,” Shaw said. “The cities that haven’t done that usually run into problems down the road.”

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