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Short term rentals through Airbnb will be illegal during UCI Bike Race

Posted at 9:40 PM, Aug 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-01 11:18:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Temporary rentals for fewer than 30 days through internet lodging services like Airbnb will remain illegal in the city of Richmond during the UCI Bike Race, but several people are blatantly ignoring the law, and they may be able to get away with it.

“I think a lot of people haven’t been deterred by it,” Erica Lamberta, a Richmond resident who thought about renting out her home for the bike race but opted against it after find out it was illegal, said.

Erica Lamberta

In fact, hundreds of postings remain on Airbnb advertising Richmond rentals for the bike race.

“I don’t think the city is going to have the resources to check out all these people," John Giglia, who received one of the first violation notices from the city for doing temporary rentals through Airbnb, said.

Giglia said a neighbor complained to the city, which led to the notice.

The city confirmed they find out about temporary rental violations from zoning complaints.

Giglia said he never had to pay a fine after receiving the notice because “the city gives you 30 days to clear the violation, after that if they come again, they can issue you a misdemeanor.”

That means, even if the city issues a violation notice during the UCI Bike Race, which lasts for nine days, the renters can stay for the duration of the race, and the homeowner won’t be penalized as long as they stop the practice within 30 days.

City Spokeswoman Tammy Hawley said, as of mid-July, two notices of violation were issued for temporary rentals.

She said several additional homes that were doing short term rentals voluntarily stopped their operation, so there was not a need to issue a violation.