B&Bs Call for City-Wide Crackdown on Illegal Short Term Rentals

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – An increase of complaints about property owners who rent out there homes illegally has sparked concerns from licensed bed and breakfast owners.

They are calling for a city-wide crackdown.

The Burgundy Bed and Breakfast is a home away from home, nestled in the heart of the Marigny.

Carl Smith has been operating legally the past eleven years.

He’s not too fond of property owners who rent illegally.

“Well some of it is homeowners who occasionally rent out, but some of them are running a business,” owner Carl Smith said.

Leading neighborhood associations, like Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association (FMIA) and Vieux Carre Property Owners Association have noticed an increase in the amount of illegal short term rentals.

“I mean you have to have a permit from the city to operate as a short term rental,” FMIA President Miles Swanson said.

Miles Swanson believes most property owners aren’t aware of current city zoning laws that prohibit renting your home out during events like Super Bowl, Jazz Fest, and Essence Music Festival.

But it happens, and when it does it takes business away from those operating legally.

“Legal bed & breakfast owners do pay taxes,” Swanson explained. “They have to go through inspections. They’re licensed by the city so it certainly does put legal bed & breakfast owners at a disadvantage.”

“In my opinion the city is partly at fault there by making it so difficult to get a license,” Smith said.

In a statement the Mayor’s Press Secretary says, “The city looks into properties that have received multiple complaints and sends violation notices when applicable,” Tyler Gamble wrote.

The city has to prove, (1) a person rented out property, not just advertised, (2) rented repeatedly, and (3) rented to “non-residents.”

All of which the city says have been difficult.

An informational meeting Tuesday night at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, located at 2624 Burgundy Street, was intended to address the problem, and inform property owner how to operate a legal short term rental.

“I certainly support the efforts of the organization and I think it’s going in the right direction,” Smith said.

Organizers hope to get city government involved and keep the dialogue going.

To learn more about operating legally, visit faubourgmarigny.org