Salem eases rental laws for hordes of eclipse viewers

Applications available Wednesday morning in Salem

A neighborhood in Salem, July 11, 2017 (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The upcoming total solar eclipse continues to have unforeseen impact on cities in and around the path of totality.

Starting Wednesday in Salem, people will now be able to rent your home for short-term rentals on sites such as Airbnb. The eclipse, expected to bring hundreds of thousands to the Salem area, is part of the reason the city is finally allowing these rentals.

Oregon’s capital city is not close to being able to house all the visitors expected for the eclipse. But Mayor Chuck Bennett said it’s time to remove the blockages to rental units.

Complete Coverage: Oregon Solar Eclipse

“Bachelor parties occurred in quiet Salem neighborhoods and got out of hand. We discovered a parking problem associated with it,” Bennett told KOIN 6 News.

But hordes of visitors forced them to rethink their position.

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, July 11, 2017 (KOIN)
Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, July 11, 2017 (KOIN)

Now, he said, “If you’re going to rent out a room, you’re all going to pay a transient occupancy tax.”

There are a few rules that come with renting out your home: You’ll need to obtain a license from the city at a cost of more than $100 (depending on when you apply); you’ll need to make sure your home meets the city’s safety certification requirements, including a physical inspection of your home.

The rentals, Bennett said, are only “short term. You have to pay your nightly tax.” Short term in this instance ins 30 days or less.

City of Salem – Eclipse Information

And this rental change is not just for the eclipse. It should remain the law in Salem going forward. It is however, only for houses, not for apartments.

The City of Salem said there’s a lot of interest in this. Applications will be available Wednesday morning and lines are expected.

The solar eclipse will take this path on its way across the U.S. (KOIN)
The solar eclipse will take this path on its way across the U.S. (KOIN)