Good Luck Getting an Airbnb in the French Quarter

The city just voted to crack down on home-sharing

Is Airbnb Banned in New Orleans?

The crusade against Airbnb continues.

The home-sharing giant, along with similar rental sites like Vrbo and Homeaway, has faced opposition everywhere from Amsterdam to Honolulu recently, as city governments grow increasingly frustrated with its negative impact on local communities. The latest regulations were just passed in New Orleans, where, as of December 2019, short-term rentals of entire properties (meaning, any property not occupied by its owner), will be banned.

It’s one of the more common rules being passed these days, and it’s considered a city’s best defense against “profit object housing.” When hosts are able to operate buildings without setting foot in them for days or weeks at a time (using cleaning crews or digitized lock boxes to keep things running), a neighborhood can feel, at best, transient, and at its worst, exploited. Certain neighborhoods in NOLA fit this bill, and were taken into account by the New Orleans City Council when it unanimously voted to crack down on Airbnb.

The French Quarter and the Garden District, for instance, will all but ban short-term rentals once these measures go into effect, while housing developments in newer districts will be subject to a 25% cap on rentable units. Per usual, the win for local government here is that they don’t have to implement any of these regulations. It’s up to Airbnb and the like to weed out any hosts unwilling to comply to the new regulations. When someone slips through the cracks, the city can just collect a fine.

This makes sense for New Orleans, a small city with an intense, provincial pride, and a steady stream of tourists. But a blanket mistrust of Airbnb is unnecessary, in our opinion. Those who use the service may indeed fiddle with the “local character” of a community, but these people also spend a lot of money at restaurants, shows and exhibits. And more often that not, actual New Orleanians are renting out the properties that are now being penalized.

For your trip to The Big Easy, we recommend skipping this whole mess and just going with a hotel. There are a ton to choose from, including: Ace Hotel New Orleans, Hotel Peter and Paul, The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, and Maison de la Luz.

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