What’s Going On With Short Term Rentals in New Orleans?

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The operation of Short Term Rentals in New Orleans was legalized on April 1, 2017.  City Council adopted a series of ordinances creating three kinds of short term rental permits: Accessory, Temporary, and Commercial. Each type of permit has different requirements and allowances, summarized as follow:

  • Accessory Permits can be obtained by a homeowner who lives in the house and allow renting out up to three (3) bedrooms and six (6) guests for unlimited nights per year.
  • Temporary Permits can be obtained by a homeowner or long term renter and allow renting out up to five (5) bedrooms and ten (10) guests for only ninety (90) nights per year.
  • Commercial Permits can be obtained if the property is zoned in a non-residential zoning district with private parking and allow renting out up to five (5) bedrooms and ten (10) guests for unlimited nights per year.

In the year since its enactment, several changes in the city have been seen- such as increased applications for zoning changes and over $3 million in tax revenue to the city of New Orleans. The number of residential properties for sale in the French Quarter has also increased, although it is not confirmed whether this is the direct result of the enactment of the short term rental ordinance (Short Term Rentals are prohibited in the French Quarter). There have also been some almost ingenious attempts at circumventing the ordinances (like Melba’s Old School Po-Boys who offered a free night’s stay in a French Quarter property if you purchase 20 poboys from them for $595).

Throughout the year, one thing has not changed- short term rental opponents have remained vocal and active in their fight. On March 8, Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell proposed that a study be commissioned on the impacts of the short term rentals in the city thus far, saying that, "the people of New Orleans want and need action on this issue." The study should be delivered to the next City Council, which takes office May 7.

On April 5, 2018, City Council made its first change, albeit minor, to the short term rental ordinances. The new rule only affects commercially zoned properties that are in residential neighborhoods. The change created a “soft cap” on these type of commercial properties, meaning it allows only two short term rental units in the building. Permits for additional units will have to be approved by the City Council, through the conditional use permit process. Buildings that already have more than two short term rental units will be grandfather in, but the owners still need to obtain a conditional use permit.

Applications for short term rental permits are accepted in person at the City’s One Stop for Permits and Licenses on the 7th floor of City Hall or online at onestopapp.nola.gov. You can also apply for a permit through AirBnB’s website. AirBnB is the only hosting platform at this time that collects and remits the necessary taxes and fees to the city for you.

For more information,  visit our education page. We will be offering a two hour CE on this topic throughout the year. For other inquiries regarding Short Term Rentals, contact the author directly - Title Stream attorney, Randi Schexnayder at rschexnayder@titlestream.com.