Roeland Park is still grappling with how to regulate Airbnb and similar rentals of homes or parts of homes after a lengthy discussion last week did not produce can agreement among city councilors.
A council committee had discussed the potential regulation resulting in a staff recommendation to follow the lead of Prairie Village and treat the short-term vacation rentals the same as other rental units in the city – requiring an annual fee and inspection. The Roeland Park staff report had suggested that only the rooms to be rented should be subject to the inspection.
Roeland Park has five properties listed on Airbnb with three of those being single room rentals. Some of those homeowners who list on Airbnb – and one renter – attended the council discussion and testified to their positive experiences. “You know who you are getting into your home,” one homeowner told the council.
The issue of Airbnb rentals first came up in Roeland Park in January. Following the Prairie Village example would have required some modest changes to city ordinances on rental property to include short term or vacation rentals.
Councilor Michael Rhoades said he disagreed with limiting the inspection to only the rooms being rented, that guaranteeing a safe environment required inspecting more of the house. Councilor Sheri McNeil raised the issue of health inspections for kitchens. Ryan Kellerman also favored whole house inspections and inspections for fire safety. Kellerman said the rentals constitute a business and any unauthorized business should be stopped.
The topic was sent back to the committee for revisions that could include changes in the inspection regulations and a requirement that the rental be owner occupied.