Coralville places limits on Airbnb-style rentals

Photo by Lauren Shotwell
Photo by Lauren Shotwell

Coralville property owners hoping to make a bit of cash and visitors looking for an alternative to hotels might see their options limited following a Tuesday ruling by the Coralville City Council. The move could affect offerings on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway, where, as of Thursday morning, about a dozen locations were listed.

The city council approved an ordinance during its Tuesday meeting to restrict short term rentals, defined as a rental for less than 90 continuous days. Under the new rules, the property must be owner-occupied and the owner must stay onsite while renters are there. Properties are also required to have a rental permit, which involves an annual $50 fee and inspections twice a year.

In an amendment added during the final readings, the city council added a requirement that property owners pay a seven percent state hotel/motel tax for the first 30 days of each stay.

During a previous city council meeting, Coralville City Attorney Kevin Olson noted that under the Iowa state code the city could fine a property owner a maximum fine of $750 for a code violation and an additional $1,000 each day afterwards if the violation continues.

Other Iowa cities have also passed restrictions on short term rentals, including West Des Moines, which passed new rules last year. Waukee is expected to consider restrictions later this fall.

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