Mayor Keller asks city council to limit short-term rentals in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Mayor Tim Keller is asking city councilors to ease the housing shortage by going after short-term rentals.

The main point is to limit stand-alone short-term rentals in Albuquerque with the goal of creating more permanent housing options, but this proposed ordinance has really sparked a debate online.

This new ordinance would have three major changes to the city’s short term rental code:

  • It would cap the number of short-term rental permits in the city at 1,200
  • It would also limit the number of rental properties one person can have to three
  • It would increase the penalties for those who break this ordinance

According to the market trend tracking website “AirDNA” there are currently more than 2,000 short-term rentals in Albuquerque that are being advertised on Airbnb and Vrbo.

Of those nearly 300 are private rooms that may not be effected by this ordinance, but there are still 1,800 full home rentals – that’s 600 more than what the city wants to allow. And the ordinance states permits will be given out on a first come, first served basis. 

Looking online, KOB 4 found multiple Airbnb hosts in town that operate more than three properties. But they would not have to get rid of extra properties right away, the ordinance states all of their permits would remain valid until their scheduled date of expiration.

This ordinance has sparked some debate online splitting folks between for and against.

The people who don’t support this idea argue the city has no right to set rental terms adding “my property, my choice.”

While many folks say they are for this change, some like organizers from the People’s Housing Project say it doesn’t go far enough.

“I felt a little excited, this was something that we proposed and one of our demands is that all short terms rentals should be banned. We don’t think there should be rental properties of 29 days or less based on the housing crisis we are in and our thoughts around housing,” said Nick Rimmer, a People’s Housing Project organizer. 

City council is set to vote on this ordinance in Monday’s meeting. 

While these limitations would be new for Albuquerque, other areas have already established them or at least similar ones. 

Last fall, the Santa Fe County Commission passed an ordinance that stopped any new applications or permits for new Airbnb’s in an effort to increase the housing stock. They faced similar complaints especially from Airbnb owners.

“Why should we have to ask permission to do what we want to do with our property? It just doesn’t make sense,” said Jack Shelburn an Airbnb owner in Pojoaque. 

Santa Fe County passed that ordinance back in October, and Rimmer says four months later the housing supply in Santa Fe is still lower than it needs to be. 

While Rimmer thinks this is a step in the right direction, he says local governments really need to prioritize building more affordable housing.