New AirBnB regulations take effect in Providence 11/30/19

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In case anyone wasn't aware, Providence's new regulations on AirBnB and other short-term rentals will go into effect November 30th, 2019.

See the short-term rentals page in the City's Planning department website for a human-readable explanation of the changes (complete with flow chart), or the actual ordinances here (defined on pg 20 as "The occupancy or use, for a fee, of all or portions of a dwelling unit by anyone other than the owner for a period of fewer than 28 consecutive calendar days", but the regulations are on pgs 102-103).

According to this recent article in the Providence Journal, "there is no fee to obtain a permit".

However, the article also says, "To obtain temporary-use permits from the city’s Department of Inspection and Standards, property owners must have basic safety measures in place, including visible printed materials with diagrams of all exits and clearly marked fire extinguishers."

To me, that implies some kind of inspection by the city, though I could be wrong.

The authoritative source, of course, would be the Providence Department of Inspections and Standards (click the Contact Us link - BP won't let me include phone #s in a post).

@Anthony Thompson I just received an invoice for a $50 fee for this permit. I spoke with someone in zoning at City Hall, and she said there’s been some debate about whether or not they will be enforcing a fee, so the saga continues. She said not to pay it for now.

Anyway, she did say they won’t be doing inspections unless complaints arise.

@David Goldstein awesome, thanks for letting us know - very helpful!

If it was me, I’d just pay the $50. I hate to be pessimistic, but the thing you have in writing says you have to pay the $50.

Someone on the phone told you not to, but there’s no written documentation of that, or that the person who told you it had the authority to say it, that what they told you was the official and correct policy, etc.

I suppose a good compromise would be to email them and ask for written (emailed reply) confirmation that you can ignore that invoice, that it was sent out in error, and that you should not pay it.

My guess would be that no one will respond to your email, which to me would mean they’d be unwilling to give you written confirmation that you should ignore the invoice, which would mean you’d probably want to pay it at that point (in my opinion).

It’s completely up to you, but that would be my thoughts on how to handle it.

Kind of ridiculous of course that you’d even have to apply this kind of thinking to $50, but when the City has the power to attach a lien to your property I think it’s worth being a little paranoid.