City Council Moves to Ban Short Term Rentals in New Orleans

New Orleans Shotgun House
Image by WOKANDAPIX from Pixabay

On Thursday, New Orleans City Council President JP Morrell and Council Vice President Helena Moreno introduced legislation to ban all non-commercial short-term rentals (STRs) in New Orleans residential areas. The move comes after a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against council regulations passed in March that limited STRs to one permit per city block, with up to two exceptions per block.

“When we passed the current STR regulations in March 2023, I made myself very clear – we will not further negotiate with an industry that refuses to be regulated,” Morrell said. “Cities across the country are struggling to grapple with predatory companies such as Airbnb and Vrbo that want their cake and eat it too, all at the expense of vulnerable residents who struggle to find housing. If the federal judge decides that the current regulations are insufficient, then we as a legislative body will resolve this matter once and for all.”

STR owners have been fighting the city in federal court over regulations for the past year. Initially, plaintiffs convinced the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down an earlier set of rules limiting STR permits to New Orleans residents only. The regulations passed in March were meant to be a compromise, as they still allowed for out-of-state owners.

“We have tried repeatedly to find a path for common sense protections in neighborhoods,” said Moreno. Unfortunately, business interests have instead chosen to protect their profits. We won’t allow corporations to overtake our neighborhoods. Therefore, I feel like the only choice left is to ban non-commercial STRs. This is not where I wanted to be, and the blame lies solely on those pursuing to strike regulations.”

The legislation, introduced and first read during today’s regular council meeting include a code ordinance removing all non-commercial STR regulations from City code, an IZD banning non-commercial STR permits, and a motion directing the City Planning Commission to eliminate non-commercial STRs from the CZO.

“The legislation prohibiting residential STRs is being introduced in advance of the federal court’s ruling on the constitutionality of our current laws,” said District ‘D’ Councilmember Eugene Green. “We will await the court’s decision and work collectively as a COuncil to make any adjustments that may be necessary. We will continue to work with our legal department to pass legislation that protects the integrity of our neighborhoods under the constitutional parameters required by law.”

Under the proposed ban, rentals for less than 30-days would be limited to areas zoned commercial, and in residential areas that allow for hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts. However, anyone wanting to rent out a room in their home for less than 30 days would have to apply to be one of the aforementioned businesses, which are more strictly regulated and taxed at a higher rate than STRs. Gaining approval is often a long and difficult process.


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