Illegal short-term rentals flood N.O. market ahead of Super Bowl

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 8 at 11:30 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- If you could make big bucks renting out your house for Super Bowl weekend, why wouldn't you, right?

In New Orleans that is against the law, but illegal rentals keep popping up to the dismay of some in the local business community.

They aren't hard to spot on websites like Craigslist. For example, one ad says a beautiful, luxury one-bedroom in the French Quarter could be yours for $19,500 during Super Bowl week.

On Algiers Point, a two-bedroom historic home near Delaronde at Bermuda is also available for $5,000 that same week.

"I did a little research on Craigslist and I saw that houses in this neighborhood are going for well over $1,000, a night and that's a lot of king cakes," said Blaine, who asked Eyewitness News to only use his first name.

With Super Bowl 2013 just weeks away, acquaintances from out of town are asking the Uptown resident if he will be renting out his place.

"The houses in our neighborhood have been going for wild amounts of money, up to $20,000 for the weekend," said Blaine, who knows short-term rentals are illegal in the city.

But the homeowner says he can see why the big pay off would be tempting.

"The biggest fear is if it's not legal then there really is no recourse. There's no insurance, there's no -- all these things that exist to protect people that rent out their properties don't exist for people trying to do a weekend rental," said Blaine.

"There are tons of people who are out on Craigslist all the time," said Bonnie Rabe, who runs the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast on Saint Charles Street and says illegal rentals are always a problem during major events.

"It's the people who are doing it on a regular basis all the time, that really does effect our business and our bottom line," said Rabe, who is also part of the Professional Innkeepers Association of New Orleans. The association continues to push the city of New Orleans to crack down on violators.

However, Rabe very little is being done.

"We feel like its a no-brainer. If you just enforce this law, you could be making more money in taxes," said Rabe.

The Gambit put in a public records request to see how stringently the city's illegal short-term ordinance is being enforced. The Gambit reports that the city has issued zero administrative subpoenas in the past six months. For more on the weekly's cover story, click here.

 

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