Hotels

Philadelphia legalises Airbnb-type rentals

AP

Philadelphia has legalised and plans to tax Airbnb and other short-term rentals ahead of Pope Francis’ visit in September and the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Airbnb says the city on Wednesday became the US’ largest to legalise rentals through online marketplaces. It joins San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, among cities authorising the transactions.

Philadelphia also changed zoning rules to allow rentals in residential areas and is subjecting them to an 8.5 per cent hotel tax. The rentals had been operating tax free.

City councillor William Greenlee says Airbnb-type rentals are essentially short-term hotels and should be made to follow the same rules.

A permit is required for rentals lasting more than 30 days. The city says homes can’t be rented out for more than 180 days per year.

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