Louisville cracking down on short-term rentals, including Airbnb

Louisville considering ways to force short-term rental owners to register

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Getting short-term rental hosts to register with the city of Louisville is on the honor system.

Some ask how new regulations can be enforced if officials can’t keep track of who is registering with short-term rental companies.

A set of regulations was passed in 2016 for short-term rentals and now changes are in the works. Some of those changes include the number of guests owners can have in their home.

Penalties are created if owners advertise without registering with the city.

“One of the things we are suggesting is getting rid of the slap on the wrist if you don’t register,” Andi Hannan, a resident of the Original Highlands, said.

There are thousands of short-terms rental homes listed in Louisville. In Airbnb properties alone, there were 78,000 guests in 2017. The city said there are about 400 short-term rentals registered.

According to the proposed regulation changes, a first offense results in a warning. Hannan said she believes there's a need for heavier penalties.

“I really don’t want to live next door to a short-term rental or basically a hotel,” Hannan said.

Hannan said the rentals create more traffic and parking issues. Noise violations and a loss of community are also some of her concerns. Some hosts don't even live in Kentucky.

“I have a lot of out-of-state investors hitting me up about Louisville and trying get involved in our market,” Alexandria Bolton, a real estate broker, said.

Bolton’s company sold a house in Germantown to an out-of-state couple to solely use as a short-term rental.

“Our city is on the up and up and people want to come here and they want to stay here,” Bolton said.

The total amount of income for all the hosts in Louisville in 2017 was $10 million.

For the minority that registered it takes some work. The process includes notifying all of the owner’s surrounding neighbors before being approved.

Bolton said more regulation isn’t going to inspire people to register.

“If you haven't already registered it's going to be a process to do so and you might have some people looking the other way because of that,” Bolton said.

These changes are proposed and the city is still seeking public feedback. The deadline to contribute to the conversation is Friday. The updates move on to the Planning Commission before heading to Metro Council.

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