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Boston Airbnb regulations hearing set—public’s chance to sound off

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Meant to curb illegal hotels

The Boston City Council plans to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 13, on Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposal to curb the overuse of apartment-sharing sites such as Airbnb.

Walsh’s proposal, which requires City Council approval, would restrict short-term rentals to 90 nights annually for owners who rent an entire apartment, condo, or house. There would be less stringent rules for owners renting out a bedroom.

The city would also require those leasing short-term to register with regulators and pay an annual fee.

Walsh’s proposal is meant to stop the proliferation of what are often called de facto or illegal hotels—multifamily buildings where tenancies are turned over so frequently they might as well be Holiday Inns.

The Walsh administration says the move would free up some 2,000 housing units for longer-term leases. That would pry open a bit the city’s notoriously tight rental supply.