Airbnb Regulations in Pittsburgh and greater Pittsburgh

10 Replies

Hello, Pittsburgh investors! I just moved here a couple months ago from Chicago. There, I flip small multi family property for the “house-hacker” market and hold a portfolio of a income property. In one of my Chicago buildings, I have an Airbnb unit in operation that is outperforming standard 12 month rental income (on pace to perform beyond 140% of standard rent for 2018). 

I love the enhanced Airbnb income, but, there’s regulation / ordinances in the City of Chicago that add risk to scaling an Airbnb portfolio there. 

I wish to understand the landscape here in Pittsburgh. What’s the Airbnb regulation climate like currently and outlook for the future?

Please share your personal experiences running Airbnb short term furnished rentals in Pittsburgh. Where are places of high demand and growing demand in Pittsburgh for this?

What risks / pitfalls should a new person to the Pittsburgh market know before jumping in to the Airbnb market here?

Greatly appreciate insights and would welcome getting together on the phone or in person to discuss any of this as well!

Cheers!

Hi Danny, 

Welcome to the Burgh! Currently, the atmosphere here is short term rental friendly. Airbnb and Homeaway remit occupancy taxes for host and distribute them directly to the city. Personally, I love the short term rental game and have started encouraging all landlords to convert their str viable traditional rentals. 

Location and risk management will both be dictated by the type of guest you want to serve. 

@Martin Edwards thanks for the insight. Are you personally operating any short term furnished rental units in the city of Pittsburgh? 

I’m really trying to assess the political climate an attitude from local government regarding short-term furnished rentals and balancing them with affordable housing. In Chicago, this is a real issue so I am doing my diligence before jumping in here in Pittsburgh. 

Thoughts?

One thing I will remark about short term rentals, there are some boros that require an occupancy permit with fee for every single occupant or change in renter. This is something to keep in mind as you may want to steer clear of those areas.

Originally posted by @Elise Bickel :

One thing I will remark about short term rentals, there are some boros that require an occupancy permit with fee for every single occupant or change in renter. This is something to keep in mind as you may want to steer clear of those areas.

Hi Elise.  Any idea what the rules are in Cranberry Twp?  

Originally posted by @Elise Bickel :

Adam I haven't run into any occupancy or permit requirements for the township yet unless you are in an HOA.

Do you happen to know the regulations and permitting requirements for the North shore near the stadiums?

More broadly any updates from locals about the political climate in Pittsburgh for short term rentals?



 

In my experience, some townships are completely clueless as to how to handle it. If asked, some will claim that they aren't allowed, but have nothing on the books to back up those claims.

In one particular case where nothing was on the books, everyone at the township's office verbally said they weren't allowed. After bringing them some Sarris chocolate, I was able to sit them down and discuss it. The result was a verbal approval of what I was working on.

Hi Tom,

I haven't run into any push back for air bnbs on the North Shore as of yet. I do know the short terms we have there and our colleagues have there are renting really well. If located in the right neighborhood, you can have pretty consistent occupancy. 

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