Roeland Park homeowner queries city about listing space on Airbnb; one listing already up

What happens when a homeowner wants to open their house to visitors to make a little extra cash? That is the question facing Roeland Park after a resident has inquired about listing a home on Airbnb, the site that allows space in private homes to be rented out to temporary visitors.

AirBNBRoeland Park City Administrator Aaron Otto said a city resident has asked if they need permission from the city to list space in the home on Airbnb. Otto said the homeowner believes that Roeland Park’s location between destinations such as the Country Club Plaza and IKEA could make it attractive for out-of-town visitors looking for an economical place to spend the night.

The Airbnb site already shows one listing in Roeland Park, so the trend may already be under way. That listing is for a two-bedroom home that can accommodate up to four people and rents for $89 per night or $450 per week. The listing already contains several reviews from people who have stayed there through the Airbnb listing.

The question posed to the city is whether listing a room for short-term rental in the home makes it susceptible to any city regulation. Roeland Park has recently discussed its rental regulations which require annual licensing. However, no clear direction exists on how an Airbnb type arrangement should be handled.

Councilor Megan England suggested the city look for best practices on Airbnb regulation in other cities rather than inventing its own standards.

Airbnb was originally founded as AirBed & Breakfast and now has more than 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities. The site matches hosts and guests for short stays in the host home.