City Council holds the line on short term rentals

On August 8, the New Orleans City Council gave final approval to ordinances limiting short term rentals citywide. The unanimous vote came after more than a year of interim restrictions and studies. In the end, the council approved a 25 percent cap on short-term rentals in commercially zoned property and a homestead exemption requirement for residential property. Stretches of Canal and Bourbon streets were exempted from the cap to encourage the redevelopment of long vacant upper floors.

The action closely mirrored a prior motion passed by the council. Typically, a motion states the council’s intent, while a subsequent ordinance provides more specific legal text. However, changes are sometimes made in the interim, and rumors flew before Thursdays meeting that short-term rental platforms were pressing to have the 25 percent cap lifted throughout the Central Business District. This prompted unified opposition from affordable housing advocates, preservationists, hoteliers, the Downtown Development District and neighborhood associations representing Lafayette Square and the Warehouse District. Chief among their concerns was the conversion of residential apartments into short-term rentals.

After hours of public testimony, a large majority of which favored the ordinance, the council approved the changes, which take effect in December. In the interim, city staff will develop permitting and enforcement procedures. Read more about the changes here.