Short-Term rentals are currently unregulated in Seattle and Washington State. Current laws which specifically apply to rentals of more than 30 days, or to traditional Bed and Breakfasts or Hotels require registration and inspections of rental properties, the payment of tax if properties are rented out for less than thirty days, and the registration of guests.
According to Jim Metz, housing ordinance supervisor at the Seattle Department of Planning and Development:
“It’s difficult to define them", Airbnb rentals seem like “transient accommodations,” similar to hotels or traditional bed and breakfasts. This would require them to abide by the same regulations and would make them illegal in many residential areas. However, that definition requires at least three lodging units in a single facility, which wouldn’t apply to most Airbnbs.
Defining them as vacation rentals doesn’t work either, Metz said. “Vacation rentals are for larger blocks of time, like a week or a month,” he said. “If they’re rented out on a regular basis for short periods of time, they seem like transient accommodations. Those aren’t permitted in the zoning of a lot of areas.”
A conservative occupancy model has been built in order to estimate Occupancy Rates, Income per Month and Nights per Year. More information on the methodolgy of the occupancy model can be found in the disclaimers.
Inside Airbnb: Seattle uses the following parameters:
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Airbnb provides NO PUBLIC DATA to help understand the use of their platform and the impact on cities around the world.
Airbnb also provide NO DATA to cities or states to assist them in ensuring that Airbnb hosts and Airbnb are following the local laws.
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How is Airbnb really being used in and affecting your neighborhoods?
Airbnb guests may leave a review after their stay, and these can be used as an indicator of airbnb activity.
The minimum stay, price and number of reviews have been used to estimate the occupancy rate, the number of nights per year and the income per month for each listing.
How does the income from Airbnb compare to a long-term lease?
Do the number of nights booked per year make it impossible for a listing to be used for residential housing?
And what is renting to a tourist full-time rather than a resident doing to our neighborhoods and cities?
An Airbnb host can setup a calendar for their listing so that it is only available for a few days or weeks a year.
Other listings are available all year round (except for when it is already booked).
Entire homes or apartments highly available year-round for tourists, probably don't have the owner present, could be illegal, and more importantly, are displacing residents.
Some Airbnb hosts have multiple listings.
A host may list separate rooms in the same apartment, or multiple apartments or homes available in their entirity.
Hosts with multiple listings are more likely to be running a business, are unlikely to be living in the property, and in violation of most short term rental laws designed to protect residential housing.
(## other listings)
$### income/month (est.)
X night minimum
x.x nights/year (est.)
##.#% occupancy rate (est.)
xxx days/year (##.#%)
click listing on map to "pin" details