The Oxford Planning Commission met on Sept. 11 to discuss and authorize “short-term rentals,” specifically in relation to Airbnb.

Airbnb is a tech startup that connects people in need of a place to stay with homeowners who can rent out rooms or entire homes to travelers through the Airbnb app.

Hotels in Oxford typically have a significant shortage of rooms during peak times of the year, such as move-in weekend and Family Weekend, and many community members try to meet this need by offering short-term rentals in their own homes and properties. There is a lack of sufficient space on four important weekends in Oxford due to Miami University events.

Not only is Airbnb useful for peak times, but it can be an affordable option for less-trafficked weekends as well.

Previously, the City of Oxford only had allowed for bed and breakfasts in city limits, and did not authorize Airbnb rentals.

The latest changes apply to the definition of “short-term rentals” and to their staff. The policy change also renovated the general requirements for being an owner or booking agent.

The main goal of authorizing Airbnbs in Oxford is to increase zoning compliance while attempting to avoid any clashes with current neighborhood charm or with the staff and property owners of Airbnb rentals.

Any rentals that have five or more bookings a year are required to have a license or permit, while any rentals who have less than five bookings a year do not.

Rental occupancy limitations are set by the license or permit, and not the owner. Owners and booking agents must also agree to both initial and occasional inspections of the property.  

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