TULSA, OK (KJRH) — It's a debate that's been going on for years, with city leaders trying to figure out what should be required when someone wants to rent out rooms in their own home.
Dozens turned out to Tulsa City Hall talk about two proposed amendments, the newest of which would only require someone renting out a property to get a license.
Homeowners who rent out rooms through a service like Airbnb either live in the home and rent out periodically, or own the property and rent it out all the time. Wednesday's debate at City Hall centered on how those two types of renters should have to register with the city.
Past suggestions would have required someone who rents out but doesn't live in the home to go through a public process. That would require asking neighbors for input and getting special permission from the city. The process also costs property owners up to $700.
But the new amendment would have the same requirements for all renters - simply paying for a license.
The arguments were divided. Some property owners wanted the opportunity to rent short-term, others didn't want strangers going in and out of homes in their neighborhoods.
Darla, who spoke in favor of short-term renting, talked about renting out rooms in her home, and using Airbnb when traveling.
"There is a need out there for travelers who can't afford something like $150 a night or $120 a night," she said.
"No one knows who they are," said Jim in opposition. "No one checks to find out what their credentials might be."
The Planning Commission eventually voted to recommend a previous amendment to the City Council. The amendment would require anyone living in a home who rents it out to get a license.
Anyone who owns a property but does not live there would have to get special exceptions from the city. They would only be able to rent out four rooms, with a maximum of eight people staying in the house at a time.
City councilors hope to get a new ordinance drafted up and voted on in the coming weeks.
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