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AirBnB Party Gone Wrong

From ABC8:

CBS reported that over 100 underage teens packed into a local home in the 500 block of North 26th St. The party then caused a collapse from the first floor to the basement.

As of the moment, the house is condemned by the property maintenance inspector.

Check out the link below to see the raw video.

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8 comments

MP 01/07/2019 at 11:12 AM

I thought full house short-term Air BNBs were illegal? I feel bad for the neighbors having to deal with this next door. Is there anything home owners can do to prevent greedy slumlords from doing this? I mean 100 underage teens, WOW. Surely zoning laws can prevent this.

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Mike 01/07/2019 at 9:00 PM

We live on Broad St and we have one right across the street. Never any problems and nice people checking in. Mostly people wanting to experience Richmond with their family. I actually feel bad for the owner of the house. I’m very sure they were unaware 100 people were checking in or it being used as a party house. I’ve lived in places with alwful neighbors. The good part about AirB&B, they check out. Your alwful neighbors never leave. ?????

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/07/2019 at 9:33 PM

The big question is, who is responsible?

This disaster could have been much worse if the house had a full basement rather than just a 2-foot deep crawl space the floor fell into. I understand the owner refuses to answer questions and the Assessor’s office shows it being owned by DANIEL C HICKS AND MEAGAN M QUINN.

It isn’t illegal to run a registered Airbnb but it is illegal to rent it out like this apparently was for the party which means fines for the owner. And of course, insurance liability.

The house is salvageable but will have to be gutted downstairs to replace the floor and unfortunate that the original wood floor is now toast.

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crd 01/08/2019 at 1:12 PM

@1, no it’s not illegal at all. Plenty of people rent a house using AirBnB. AirBnB requires a photo ID of the renter, and a credit card, so somewhere there is an adult who rented this. And then turned it into a party house.

I have been told that this was never occupied by the owner(s), it was always done thru AirBnB. Anyone here know more about that? And@2 Mike, I take it you mean the owner does not occupy that house you mention, it’s always short term rental? That’s a shame, tho I get what you are saying that they leave after awhile.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/08/2019 at 2:25 PM

Until either the owner(s) speak out or an official word from the city as to what really happened that day, we won’t know if they knew it was being rented out as a party venue? But like @1 MP said, I thought there were supposed to be homeowners living there and not a full house rental? And I also read that “The Richmond City Council recently explored the ramifications of local Airbnb regulation, but the service is still technically illegal in city limits.”

I hope they won’t tear it down but it won’t be a cheap fix either and doubt their home owner’s insurance will pay under the circumstances? And hope for the neighbor’s (and neighborhood) sake that it won’t just sit condemned for years as the city has a habit of letting buildings do.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/09/2019 at 5:55 AM

@4crd…

Are you sure about people renting full houses as AirBnB’s? I need to go back to the NBC12 newscast because they covered why the owner’s licenses were revoked and thought it was because they did rent the entire house? I thought that the owner had to live there and can rent out like a basement or a floor but not an entire unoccupied house? Then the blurb about how it is technically illegal to run an AirBnB within the Richmond City Limits? Things to look into.

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Queen of Church Hill 01/09/2019 at 11:10 AM

This house was used for long term rental for about the past 15 years or so. Since the last tenants moved out, less than a year ago, it has been strictly used as an AirBnb. The owner of the home does not live there and never has.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/10/2019 at 11:39 AM

After doing a quick research, I see that a Bill was passed concerning Short Term Rentals (AirBnB) in Virginia but each town and city needs to create their own regulations. Running them in Richmond is illegal and the Zoning Laws have been on the books long before AirBnB’s were in existence but at the same time, as the city often does, cast a blind eye and doesn’t practice what they preach by enforcing them. Those cities that have allowed them requires the homeowner to register with the city so that proper taxes are collected. That the homeowner, in most cases, has to live there and only rent out rooms. And the house has to meet building codes for a business like STR. Richmond collects a hotel tax and there is opposition from actual hotels who have to abide by laws.

Here is a sidebar to a March 2018, R-Home (Richmond Magazine) article that has some information.

The Legal Side

*** In March 2017, then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation to allow local regulation on short-term rentals like Airbnbs. Thanks to Senate Bill 1578, local governments now can create ordinances requiring residents to submit their short-term rentals in a local registry. Virginia cities can levy a penalty of as much as $500 on residents who fail to register their Airbnb properties. (The city of Richmond thus far has not created such a registry.)

*** Airbnb rental income should be reported on your yearly tax return. You can deduct certain rental expenses on your tax return, such as mortgage interest, property tax, operating expenses, depreciation and repair, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

*** Call your insurance company and let them know that you are renting your dwelling using Airbnb, as they may suggest that you get landlord rental property insurance. This policy protects the property and yourself, covering structures, belongings, loss of rental income, and medical payments if someone is injured on the property.

More… par for the course with the City of Richmond and their backward thinking…

” The law basically goes, “it’s illegal to rent a room in the city for less than a 30 day period unless you’re a licensed hotel”, but the courts give you like 2 weeks to evict the people living there, from the date of citation? I think it’s something like that, it basically makes enforcement of legislation against Air Bnb impossible. “

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