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What to do about short-term rentals in Geneva? City officials debate potential solutions

Geneva City Council is considering regulations on short-term rentals, amid concerns about the impact on housing availability and prices. Ward 5 City Councilor Laura Salamendra led the discussion on the issue at a Council meeting on March 1, arguing that short-term rentals are decreasing the already limited supply of housing in the city, and exacerbating the crisis of unaffordability for renters and homeowners.


According to a report from City Manager Amie Hendrix, short-term rentals are on the rise in Geneva due to high returns for property investors. A three-bedroom, two-bath short-term rental can fetch between $3,500 to $4,500 a month, compared to $1,000 to $1,200 for long-term rentals. Salamendra believes the growth of short-term rentals is causing a lack of housing for renters and homeowners, and forcing renters out of their communities.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The Council discussed a range of possible measures to address the issue, including licensing, occupancy taxes, occupancy limits, and annual inspections. However, some Council members questioned whether these measures were the right answers or pointed to other reasons for the low housing stock, such as the purchase of properties by Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

The Council agreed that the matter is complex and requires further discussion, with a late April/early May date under consideration for a broader debate.