Study could determine if regulations needed for short-term rentals in Baton Rouge

Regulations on short-term rentals in Baton Rouge could change

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Cities all across the country, including New Orleans, are taking advantage of short-term rentals like airbnb, Flip Key, and HomeToGo. In Baton Rouge however, people can rent a home or apartment for the night without any trouble or regulations, but that could be changing soon.

There are plenty of homes in the beautiful Spanish Town neighborhood in downtown Baton Rouge; some are even available for a one or two night stay.

“You have a full blown business that’s really a hotel, but it’s the worst kind of hotel because it’s a hotel with no on-site manager,” said Marie Constantine.

Constantine lives in Spanish Town and loves her neighbors, but isn’t the biggest fan of some short-term guests nearby.

“If you need to earn some extra money, you can do owner occupied, but this ‘whole house’ is a hotel., because what happens is you and the police become the manager, whether you like it or not,” said Constantine.

“We recognize that airbnbs or short-term rentals is a growing economy all over the country,” said Tara Wicker, metro councilwoman for District 10.

Wicker says right now, there’re no regulations for short-term rentals in the parish. But after a number of meetings with people who were for and against airbnb properties, she’s working on getting the planning commission to study the issue.

“There will be some recommendations that come out of that study, based on what other cities are doing, based on our current demographics,” said Wicker.

The councilwoman says the first priority is to preserve the integrity and character of the existing historical neighborhoods.

“But at the same time, this is a new growing economy that’s here, that’s been here for a long time, and we just want to be able to work together with everyone to make sure that whatever we come up with is a compliment to the City of Baton Rouge and our citizens as a whole,” said Wicker.

There’s no word yet on when that ordinance for studies on short-term rentals could go before the council.

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