Rental properties will now be regulated in Pittsburgh under new bill

PITTSBURGH — Short and long-term rentals will now be regulated in the City of Pittsburgh, under the new rental registry bill. Property owners will have to apply for a permit to operate as a rental and pass an inspection.

“It’s a great step for the city,” Pittsburgh City Councilman, Bobby Wilson said. “Everyone wants it, that’s why it was a unanimous vote on council today. The most important thing that came out of this bill is public safety first and foremost that we’re actually going to hold individuals accountable who own properties.”

Public safety is the reason Councilman Wilson pushed so hard for short-term rentals to be included in the rental registry, even working with the law department so it holds up in court.  The North Side is part of Wlson’s district. It’s also where two 17-year-olds, Matthew Steffy-Ross and Jaiden Brown were murdered at a party at an Airbnb on Easter morning of 2022.

Roughly 200 people, mostly underage, were packed inside the property at the time.  Dozens of people were injured after being shot or jumping from windows.

“Very unfortunate what happened there, and we wanted to respond immediately and work with council President and others who worked on legislation to capture these faceless rentals like Airbnb,” Councilman Wilson added.

Wilson says this bill goes a step further.

“We stood up and said these companies need to be accountable and they started taking more accountability on themselves,” Wilson added.

Councilman Wilson says Airbnb now has a two-night rental minimum in Pittsburgh and background checks will be done.

“We wanted to go further and make sure that we’re tallying up and keeping track of who owns these rentals, because it’s important to put a face to the property owner. There are some bad actors out there - we want to make sure they’re held accountable.”

As for the investigation into the mass shooting, no one has ever been charged in connection.

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