Regarding B22‐0092 ‐ Short‐term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017

AirBNB Letter.jpg

Hon. Phil Mendelson
Chair, Council of the District of Columbia
Committee of the Whole
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 410
Washington, DC 20004

Regarding B22‐0092 ‐ Short‐term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017

Dear Chairman Mendelson and Members of the Council:

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Members of the Washington Chapter, American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation to enforce health and safety codes for short‐term rentals. AIA|DC represents more than 2,300 architects in Washington and is the fifth largest AIA chapter in the country dedicated to advancing the value of architecture for our members, our profession and our community.

The Chapter and its members are fully in support of the sharing economy and the added vibrancy it brings to our city. We support the proposed Act because it helps to clarify requirements already on the books that require owners of short‐term rental property to have a basic business license. Making sure short‐term rental owners are following the law protects the health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors alike.

We believe that the legislation is consistent with current rental housing laws which require that an owner have a basic business license, permit inspection and register with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Since this only affects use of the property that is given in exchange for monetary compensation, we believe that the Act does not impose an undue regulatory burden on property owners. If property owners intend to use their property as a business, then they need to run it like a business, and provide the same licenses and requirements that other property owners are required to
provide. In addition, this legislation is similar to regulations now in place in New York City, New Orleans, and other popular tourist cities.

We encourage the Council to adopt this legislation to bring greater clarity to the shortterm rental process.


Carolyn Sponza, AIA

Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA
Executive Director