Short term rentals (typically Airbnbs, VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner), and HomeToGo) are becoming a popular way for folks to stay on vacations and short business trips or for temporary relocation when moving to a new community. The same is true in Eugene with many folks supplementing income by renting out a spare room or two or even entire homes to guests. Short term rentals also supplement the capacity of hotels and motels especially during large events such as University sports events and may be a crucial source of beds for over 50,000 participants, media, and visitors during the 2021 World Track and Field Championships.
It is estimated that there are more than 1000 active short term rentals in our community. Providers are currently required to pay 4.5% transient room tax for their guests to the City but unlike in most Oregon Cities there are few other requirements to operate short term rentals. Some individuals have raised concerns that some hosts are inconsiderate neighbors, generating noise and parking problems for those who live near them. Others have raised concerns that short term rentals remove capacity from the long term rental market, a resource already facing severe capacity issues.
Responding to these concerns, the Eugene City Council has called for formation of an ad-hoc committee to review the issue and make recommendations for changes in City Policy. That committee is composed of owner-occupied and non owner-occupied short term rental operators, housing advocates, impacted neighbors and special interest groups with the charge to report back recommendations to Council before 2020 Spring Break.
Here at City Club we will bring four knowledgeable individuals with different perspectives to discuss their experience and knowledge of the subject of short term rentals in our community.
Bruce Searl and his wife have been operating a very successful Airbnb for 4 ½ years as an important part of their family income. Bruce is also involved in music production and portrait photography. He will speak to his experiences operating his Airbnb.
Kathryn Dunn is a realtor and member of the Eugene Short-Term Rentals Association. She has been a real estate investor for past 20 years and owns many long-term rentals as well as 2 short-term rentals. She will describe the general market and benefits of short term rentals in our community.
Dr Rebecca Lewis is Associate Professor in Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon Her student, Sadie Dinatale, published Assessing and responding to short-term rentals in Oregon: Enabling the benefits of the sharing economy. Dr. Lewis will summarize what is known about the short term rental market in Eugene and throughout Oregon.
Jo Jo Jensen a profession voice talent who records from her studio in the Laurel Hill Valley. She has been dealing with issues created by an adjacent Airbnb for over seven years, most recently having several Eugene police officers responding to behaviors during a weekend party a few weeks ago.