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Boston Airbnb regulations, Round 2: Walsh targets investor-owners’ nightly rentals

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Last attempt at new rules at the start of 2017 collapsed


Mayor Marty Walsh is planning to propose legislation for the City Council that would largely forbid investors who snap up apartments from renting them out by the night. His proposal would, however, allow owners who live in their properties to rent out rooms or apartments.

The proposal is, of course, aimed at reining in what critics see as the rampant proliferation of nightly rentals through sites such as Airbnb.

The Walsh administration’s last attempt at such regulations—back at the start of 2018—collapsed amid concerns of overreach and opposition from Airbnb. Since then, things have only grown more contentious.

Critics say the nightly rentals exacerbate Boston’s already notoriously tight and expensive housing market. Proponents of room-sharing say it lets property owners make some money on the side (in part to afford Boston’s notoriously tight and expensive housing market).

Also, Cambridge enacted room-sharing regulations in late 2017 that mandate who can rent out which properties for how long through the likes of Airbnb. It does not appear to have dented the city’s housing costs.