With the Super Bowl less than a month away, websites like Craigslist and AirBNB are full of residents in New Orleans looking to rent their homes. For residents, it’s a quick and easy way to make some cash. And tourists get to stay in a home rather than a hotel. The problem is that, without the proper permit, it’s illegal. Gambit discovered that the city has yet to enforce the code, and City Business has covered the issue, as well.
The City Code prohibit such rentals and is designed to protect New Orleans small business owners. Specifically, it’s designed to protect bread and breakfasts. Yes, there’s a permit for a bread and breakfast. The owners of these businesses need to pay for permits and pay for additional taxes. When private residences are rented out, they take business away from the small hotels, and increase the number of beds. An increased availability of rooms decreases the price. It’s simple supply and demand economics.
Luckily, the city doesn’t completely prohibit such rentals. They only require that you request a permit and pay the proper fee. Whether or not the city decides to actually enforce the ordinance is anyone’s guess. If you want to operate legally, the Bureau of Revenue and Finance can help you with that process. I can also recommend an attorney if you’d rather not handle it yourself. 🙂