Rule changes could come for Lexington Airbnbs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A new proposal could bring changes to Airbnb and other short rentals here in Lexington.

A city proposal could change some of the rules regarding Airbnb rentals in Lexington. (Photo: WKYT/Chelsea Jones)

"It's about the transaction, and the transaction should include the same kind of taxes and fees that you’d see if you’re staying at the Hyatt," says 5th District Lexington Bill Farmer, Jr.

Farmer is spearheading the effort after receiving complaints from residents in his district about the lack of oversight concerning such properties.

"They feel like they're losing their neighborhood to people who come and go on a relatively brief basis, and no one actually lives in the property anymore."

According to the proposal, short term rental hosts would have to pay a $100 registration fee.
They'd also have to file monthly reports to the city on their number of rentals. Only one rental would be allowed per week.

"Whether it be a hotel or motel, bed or breakfast, or Airbnb, regulations need to be the same across the board," says Heath Green.

Green, who works for a Lexington firm that manages a short-term rental in Farmer's district, thinks part of the proposal is unfair. He says he agrees with paying taxes and having rules and regulations, but thinks short term rentals should not be required to do more than hotels - like file monthly reports and limit the number of stays.

Some hosts feel neighbors should take a different perspective and see how short term rentals can be good for the city.

"We're seeing a lot of properties being reversed that were dilapidated and in areas of time that had been run down," says Green.

Farmer says the proposal is still in the idea phase and could undergo changes.