Democrats in New Orleans are hell bent on killing Airbnb and other short-term rentals. But barring that, they’re content to regulate them to death.
Today’s attempt to wipe out short-term rentals in New Orleans, and other places in Louisiana, comes from State Rep. Helena Moreno. She has filed HB 952 which would require short-term rental owners to submit “building plans and specificiations” to the state Fire Marshal documenting everything from fire extinguishers and smoke detectors to unobstructed exits.
From the Times-Picayune:
Operators of Airbnb-style short-term rentals in Louisiana would have to file building plans with the state Fire Marshal’s office under a bill pending in the state Legislature.
House Bill 952, sponsored by New Orleans Democrat Helena Moreno, would require owners of property being rented for less than a month to submit “building plans and specifications” documenting continuous maintenance of “smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, unobstructed exits and fire extinguishers.”
Applicants would be charged $30 for the initial processing of the plans and a $20 registration fee, good for five years.
The bill was deferred by Moreno yesterday in the House Ways and Means Committee until she makes some “minor” adjustments to it. She does plan to bring the bill back though.
HB 952 is a bill that would impose onerous requirements on the owners of these properties. How many homeowners can produce “building plans and specifications” with all this stuff Moreno wants on it? Most homeowners would have to hire an architect to draw these plans.
Here’s the thing, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are portable in most cases. That means they can be moved around. Is this something that really needs to be taken account of in building plans?
Finally, what is defined as “continuous maintenance” of this equipment? Are property owners going to have log when they change the batteries on a smoke detectors? What about making sure fire extinguishers are charged? The bill does not specify the required maintenance schedule.
This bill just simply throws up more barriers to entry for property owners who want to do short-term rentals. While this might earn Helena Moreno some points with the hotels and the NIMBYs, property owners and tourists will be the losers if the bill passes.