Airbnb regulation bill passes Assembly panel

John Brennan, NorthJersey.com

Legislation sponsored by Bergen County Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle intended to address the lack of regulation in short-term rental properties by online marketplaces such as Airbnb was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

Several Bergen County municipalities have adopted ordinances requiring a minimum stay of 30 days, effectively banning transient rentals. The bill would codify that municipalities are authorized to approve such ordinances, while also creating a licensing and regulatory scheme.

“The current practices of short-term rental businesses lack the necessary safety precautions for our municipalities,” said Vainieri Huttle. “We want residents and tourists to enjoy the options provided by companies like Airbnb, but not at the expense of neighbors who live there on a permanent basis. This legislation creates a baseline registry that municipalities can implement as they see fit.”

The bill, A-4441, would allow municipalities to license the short-term rental of a residential unit — also known as transient accommodation — to a guest through a transient space marketplace, such as Airbnb and FlipKey. The legislation does not apply to seasonal rentals, which are defined under the bill as a timeshare or a dwelling unit rented for no more than 125 consecutive days for residential purposes by a person having a permanent residence elsewhere.

The measure was released by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.