New Orleans City Council Passes Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans City Council passed legislation to limit, regulate and tax short term rental (STR) platforms, such as Airbnb, in Orleans Parish. The legislation, authored by Councilmembers Stacy Head and Jason Williams, creates enforceable regulations for the operations of STR companies and was the result of extensive conversations between our Administration, the Council, short term rental platforms and concerned citizens.

         “The City of New Orleans will be a model for other cities trying to limit, regulate and tax short term rental platforms,” said Mayor Landrieu. “This legislation serves to protect consumers and generate sufficient City revenue to pay for both enforcement and the services required to support additional visitors in the New Orleans market. This compromise balances the economic opportunity created by short term rentals with the need to maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods and protect the supply of long-term rental housing stock and affordability across our city.”

         Effective April 1, 2017, the legislation prohibits full-time, whole-home rentals in residential districts. It also includes strict regulations, time limits and permit fees for non-owner-occupied rentals in residential districts. The City’s Department of Safety and Permits will be in charge of enforcement of any violations and will hire an additional 11 staff members to manage inspection and enforcement. Individuals found out of compliance with the legislation may be subject to STR license revocation, daily fines, property liens and the disconnection of electrical service.

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         At-large Councilmember Jason Williams said, “Although it may not feel like it, today was a win for those who are completely against whole home rentals because with today’s legislation we became the first city in the world to develop a real way to control the number of short-term rentals in our town. We have created an effective enforcement mechanism that forces these short-term rental platforms to turn over their records to the City. With this data and our plan, we now have the tools to monitor, enforce, and shut down short-term rentals, if need be.

          “I am thankful I was able to unanimously pass an amendment to change permit fees to increase the permit costs for whole home rentals that are not owner-occupied,” he said. “Many other proposed amendments were very well reasoned and rational, however at this time they would have broken the deal and sent us back to where we were last year with absolutely no enforcement.”

         The legislation includes three types of legally permitted STRs:

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• Accessory: allows permanent residents to rent out spare bedrooms or property owner occupant to rent half a double on full-time basis. Homestead exemption and STR License are required.

• Temporary: allows property owner to rent their dwelling as a STR on a temporary basis for up to 90 days per calendar year, up to 5 bedrooms. STR License is required.

• Commercial: allows property owner to operate STR as a commercial use in non-residential zones, up to 5 bedrooms. STR License is required.

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         All types of STRs are banned within the Vieux Carré with the exception of the Vieux Carré Entertainment District which are allowed by right as a commercial permit.

         To apply for an STR license or license renewal, applicants must confirm that the property:

• Has current, valid liability insurance of $500,000 or more;

• Has working smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on all habitable floors;

• Has a properly maintained and charged fire extinguisher;

• Has a posting that provides emergency contact information and a floor plan indicating fire exits and escape routes displayed in a prominent location;

• Is in compliance with applicable provisions of the City’s Minimum Property Maintenance, Building, Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Codes;

• Is in compliance with all of the standards and requirements for the license category as mandated in the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance;

• Owner, or operator if applicable, has made best efforts to notify the properties immediately adjacent to the desired STR of the license application; and 

• Has no outstanding taxes or municipal code violation liens.


         Applicants must provide the following documentation upon request of the Department of Safety and Permits:

• A floor and/ or site plan that indicates the location of the required smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, and emergency contact/fire-exit posting;

• A completed application for a Change of Use or Building Permit, as determined by the Department of Safety and Permits, for Type C, Commercial Short Term Rentals;

• The contact information for the owner of the STR unit, which includes the owner’s primary physical mailing address, cell phone number, and email address.  Additionally, the same contact information for the operator or a local property manager that is able to respond on premises to complaints, if required by the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance;

• For a Type A License, proof of ownership via a valid homestead exemption, as required by the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance;

• A copy of the Conditional Use Ordinance, if required by the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

• A list of the STR hosting platforms that will be utilized to advertise or solicit the property for use as a STR; 

• Verification that the property has no outstanding taxes or property liens; and

• A current address of a resident in Orleans Parish to whom the request may be made. 


         Once a permit is issued, the permit holder must:

• Prominently display the permit on the front façade of the property in a location clearly visible from the street;

• Provide the valid permit number on any listing advertising or soliciting the property for use as an STR. The permit holder shall only advertise the short term rental as allowed by their STR permit;

• Post the following information in a prominent location in the interior, clearly visible to guests: Permit number; name and contact information of the owner/operator; name and contact information of the property manager, if applicable; occupancy limit; trash and recycling collection rules and dates; and additional STR Rules and operational standards as provided in the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, including but not limited to: prohibition on the use of the rental for commercial or social events and noise limitations.


         Any fraud, material misrepresentation, or false statements contained in the attestations, required documentation, or correlating application materials may result in the immediate revocation of an STR license permit.




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