On Tuesday, June 9, the Berkeley City Council is set to consider eliminating the restrictions on short-term rentals. It is currently illegal to rent out apartments and rooms in the city for fewer than 14 days. However, there are thousands of short-term rentals listed on Airbnb, VRBO, Home Away and other websites, and many in the city contend they are depleting the permanent housing supply. Berkeley officials are seeking to balance private entrepreneurship with a good supply of rental units.
In an Opinionator piece, West Berkeley homeowner Jenny Lederer argues that the proposed measure — which will be further vetted by the city’s Planning Commission and Housing Advisory Commission — will unnecessarily penalize homeowners who have freestanding in-law units and unused spaces.
The homeowners would never rent those places to long-term tenants, but the new measure means they won’t be rented to short-term tenants, either. That will deprive the city of money, said Lederer.
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