Airbnb-style rentals would have to file plans with fire marshal under proposed bill

Posted on: April 20 2016

By Robert McClendon, | The Times-Picayune

Operators of Airbnb-style short-term rentals in Louisiana would have to file building plans with the state Fire Marshal's office under a bill pending in the state Legislature.

House Bill 952, sponsored by New Orleans Democrat Helena Moreno, would require owners of property being rented for less than a month to submit "building plans and specifications" documenting continuous maintenance of "smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, unobstructed exits and fire extinguishers."

Applicants would be charged $30 for the initial processing of the plans and a $20 registration fee, good for five years.

The House Ways and Means Committee was scheduled to take up Moreno's bill Tuesday (April 19), but she had the bill deferred. Moreno said she was working on some minor changes, but the bill would be ready for discussion next week. She does not plan any substantive amendments, she said.

A companion bill that would require listing platforms like Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of the state, which would then remit local taxes to municipalities, is pending in the Appropriations Committee.

The Legislature is taking up the issue of short-term rentals in response to a push from the New Orleans City Council to legalize and regulate the market, which has exploded in recent years despite a blanket ban on them in most neighborhoods.