Featured Image Credit: Meet Charleston
Short-term rental issues have been quite the topic of discussion in Charleston these last few months.
And at 5 pm today, the Charleston short-term rental ordinance will be heading to City Council to decide whether or not short-term rentals will be legalized throughout the entire city. Currently, the only neighborhood that is legally allowed to host guests through platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway are commercial properties in the Cannonborough-Elliottborough neighborhood. Despite the city council’s decision today, the rules for that neighborhood will not change.
If short-term rentals are legalized all throughout Charleston, it will be an absolute nightmare. And our feeling of a close-knit community will be no more.
In addition to hurting our community as a whole, the short-term rental game hurts people who want to secure long-term housing in the Charleston area. Short-term rentals drive the prices for long-term rentals or ownership because there are a limited number of available residences. If individuals or companies can profit more from short-term rentals, then that residence is unavailable for short term rentals and the value of those residences left are driven up. This makes living in Charleston almost impossible for anyone other than the wealthy.
Whole house short-term rentals have been an increasing problem in the last few years. In October of 2014, there were 140 entire unit (house, condo, apartment) rental listings in the Charleston area. As of May 2017, there were 969 entire unit rental listings. That is twice the number of guest rooms of Charleston Place Hotel, one of the many hotels losing business because of short-term rentals.
We will know by the end of the meeting if City Council chooses to accept it, amend it, or reject it through a vote.