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illy-chan t1_jeeej3b wrote

> “I live here, you know, and I’m not a business,” Romero said. “I don’t want all my personal information out there for Licenses and Inspections to be able to look at.”

... I don't even know where to start.

  1. you're accepting money from strangers, it's a business transaction. 2) the city government already has most of your important personal data. 3) why are you worried about L&I knowing about where you live but not randos from the internet?

poulin t1_jeeki5t wrote

>“I live here, you know, and I’m not a business,” Romero said.
>“It’s been a nightmare trying to get the zoning permit,” Romero said. “They shut down my business, and that’s what I’ve lived off of. I mean, it’s rough. It’s really rough.”


illy-chan t1_jeekz58 wrote

Man, I forgot that line.

Idk, maybe she's trying to say she's not some bank buying up everything to rent out? Which, to be fair, fuck all those guys. But also, lady, no.


BurnedWitch88 t1_jefo8sl wrote

She's not a big business, but as a fellow small biz owner, if a service you provide is the source of literally all your income it's def. a business. And yes, businesses have to follow some rules. Esp. businesses that can involve the health and safety of your customers.


ITcurmudgeon t1_jegg9je wrote

She owns a triplex, lives in one and rents the other two out as a short term Airbnb rental.

Renting out your home when you're out on vacation or travelling for work? Not a business. Renting out something you own that you bought strictly to rent out and make money off of? Sure as shit sounds like a business to me.


MacMac105 t1_jego2l7 wrote

She may not be buying up all property to rent out, but AirBnB is, and she works for them.


nalgene_wilder t1_jeen306 wrote

Playing the absolute smallest violin for this hardworking business tycoon


erdtirdmans t1_jeg6jpk wrote

> “It’s been a nightmare trying to get the zoning permit,” Romero said

Well, now I'm actually sympathetic. L&I has long since been understaffed and we probably need to eliminate a lot of licensing requirements or they'll never keep up


Little_Noodles t1_jeeinby wrote

You forgot the part where she’s fine handing that information out to private companies as well ….

But that’s gotta be some kind of thin justification for “I don’t want to have to do the same stuff everyone else running a business has to do”, which makes more sense, but is an even less defensible argument.

For anyone that isn’t aware - If you own property, it’s a bit too late to claim to want to be off the grid. Unless you really nest that shit in a complicated network of shell companies and whatnot, it’s all in the public record and easily discoverable to anyone with the right websites and a little bit of patience. She’s not going to be any more or less findable than she already is.


illy-chan t1_jeej3uy wrote

I can only think she's in some sort of denial.

Especially with tax season going on, she's really going to act like government forms are some sort of undue hardship?


BurnedWitch88 t1_jefojqu wrote

I think tax avoidance may actually be a big part of this. Not sure how AirBnB reports payments to owners, but if she doesn't have a license to rent, there's a good chance she also doesn't have a biz license and doesn't report at least some of that income.


bibbitybobbityfuck t1_jeekvj8 wrote

She probably lives in one of those crap built, expensive, ugly East Kensington complexes with gates too.


tigerbalmz t1_jeejm5t wrote

People like this Romero person in the article is why regulation is needed… She’s been knowingly flying under the radar and making income. Now that the city is trying to get things in order she’s crying about it. She wants to have her cake and eat too.


a-german-muffin t1_jeeklke wrote

> She wants to have her cake and eat too.

That's the most generous take on "wants to commit tax fraud" I've ever seen.


UndercoverPhilly t1_jeerenw wrote

I recall her name from the last article they ran about the AirBnb's needing regulation. She must be making a bit of change from being on retainer with the Inky. /s


Scumandvillany t1_jeee0o9 wrote

I'm sorry, but this person Romero sounds like a self centered jerkoff and an idiot. Like who throws all their eggs into one basket or Airbnb rentals? "I'm looking for a job" yeah ya fuckin dumbass you should've already had one. I do think the regs could be a little better, and it should be easier to get a permit to operate, as long as there's safeguards for complaints etc to protect rowhouse blocks from idiot Airbnb renters.

I do think there's lots of property locked up in this short term game and it will be interesting so see how many properties come on the market because of this. I don't think it will be crazy and affect the market that much, but it will have some impact.


silchi t1_jeej6rc wrote

What funny is that Romero has been interviewed for articles in the past - as in, months to a year ago I remember seeing her name and the same line of ”I’m lookin for a job!”

She had no intention of getting a job. She’s been complaining about the unfairness of it all for at least a year - despite the fact that there’s been plenty of advance warning that the axe was coming.


CthulhusIntern t1_jeeotre wrote

If you're running a business without a license, doing interviews doesn't seem like the best idea, but that's just me.


Show-me-the-banana t1_jeeeqba wrote

I thought the same thing. They also seemed to know about the need for a permit before they put their livelihood into this “business” but was hoping it wouldn’t come up.

Hope is not a strategy and it sounds like they would be better off in Florida. Bye!


illy-chan t1_jeeiuc8 wrote

Honestly, even if she desperately wants to rely on Airbnb... then get the required permits? And follow regulations?

Just because it's not the wild west anymore doesn't mean it's banned.


dude_catastrophe t1_jeeklld wrote

I think the problem is getting variances for zoning on the Air BnB properties where they don’t live. Variances are not guaranteed and applying for them are time-consuming and costly. Based on the new rules the zoning needs to be a certain way if you don’t live in the property. If it’s not zoned correctly, then you have to do a typical leasing arrangement and all the paperwork and clearances that go with it. Pre-regulation changes, Air BnB just made it easier to circumvent a lot of the requirements and costs associated with leasing out property.


Trafficsigntruther t1_jeekgfr wrote

> Just because it's not the wild west anymore doesn't mean it's banned.

It’s pretty much banned unless you get a zoning variance. So…banned.


illy-chan t1_jeelxp2 wrote

Sounds like she wouldn't need the variance since she lives on site. Just a permit. Which she could have applied for at any point between 2015 and when the city finally announced they were going to enforce the law.

Also, anyone who says “Maybe I’ll just sell [the triplex] and move to Florida, where I can do business without the government being insane,” sounds like a nut to me.


666Pack t1_jeemiyz wrote

From the article:

>To operate Airbnb rentals outside of a primary residence — whether in the second unit of a duplex or in a house across town — would require a hotel license.

I'm assuming the hotel license is the variance that people are referring to?


illy-chan t1_jeencgv wrote

Thanks for the catch. Edited my comment.

I'm still not especially sympathetic that she didn't even try to apply until the 11th hour. January had already been an extension of the deadline. It's not like the law was signed in December.

It's not unreasonable for the city to ask a business to have permits to use private housing like that.


Zhuul t1_jeepwgi wrote

Seriously. Both times I’ve rented one In Wildwood they had a certificate hanging up saying they’re a licensed business and the person running it was SUPER professional. People like this Romero character are what’s wrong with the rental market.


666Pack t1_jeeo1zj wrote

Agreed. I have noticed her name in previous articles, as others have, and she seems like a knucklehead.


uptimefordays t1_jeetxlv wrote

> To operate Airbnb rentals outside of a primary residence — whether in the second unit of a duplex or in a house across town — would require a hotel license.

Honestly, not unreasonable. People living in what are supposed to be apartments, condos, coops, etc. have a right to not live in a hotel.


Trafficsigntruther t1_jeevvbj wrote

Ironically, those are the properties that can get a hotel license under the city’s regulations.


uptimefordays t1_jeewalr wrote

I'd imagine it depends on the HOA but am by no means an expert! It's just my opinion that people living in what are supposed to be residential dwellings have some reasonable expectation that whatever kind of structure they live in isn't a hotel.


Trafficsigntruther t1_jefbt89 wrote

Yes, the HOA might have their own restrictions, but they are the type of zoning (RMX2 and 3) that the city allows visitor accommodations by right.


Trafficsigntruther t1_jeeuys9 wrote

To get a hotel license the property needs to be zoned for limited lodging visitor accommodation. It requires a variance for most properties in the city.

Basically needs to be RMX-2 or 3 or CMX-3 or CMX-4 for by right zoning use.


MxEmDarcy t1_jegiywp wrote

This is correct. I am having some confusion around this as originally I lived in the unit, but I bought a new home after and got a rental licence for my unit, however EVEN after I asked, I was not told new zoning was needed. I had a limited lodging licence, then switched to a rental but the zoning wasn't changed as it wasn't mentioned when I asked L&I what was it they needed 🤦🏻‍♀️


waterboy1321 t1_jeewyr4 wrote

It’s also one of those types of stories where the tighter regulations help everyone but the people who have been raking in cash in an unregulated market, but all we’re going to hear about is how it’s hurting the people who were raking in cash.


IvanStarokapustin t1_jeegu7o wrote

Enforce the laws! Wait, not on me you scumbags, the other laws!


[deleted] t1_jefbe90 wrote



i_330 t1_jefc9jp wrote

Why not both?


[deleted] t1_jefeno3 wrote



douglas_in_philly t1_jefivkx wrote

Personally, I think this is a gross oversimplification. There's a TON of problems in our city--in ANY city--and they all need to be addressed. Do I think preventing crime is more important than random AirBnB operators getting over a little? Yes, but tell that to someone whose loved one was killed in an AirBnB fire where the operator didn't care about following the rules, and didn't have smoke detectors, etc.


[deleted] t1_jeguodi wrote



douglas_in_philly t1_jegw80p wrote

And? Nothing else matters? C’mon, friend. Nobody wants pervasive crime, but there are other things that matter. This will be my last comment on the subject, we can simply see it differently, I suppose.


signedpants t1_jeg1zj5 wrote

So enforce laws on citizens but Comcast is allowed to break an unlimited amount of laws?


TheNightmareOfHair t1_jef90w7 wrote

>The email did not note that the subpoenas are being sent out because the company would not turn over data about host addresses to the city without a formal request.

Sounds a lot like AirBnB is trying to exert political pressure on the city by getting hosts up in arms.


>“Maybe I’ll just sell [the triplex] and move to Florida, where I can do business without the government being insane,” said Romero.

This fits very well with my theory that Florida is a magnet that will slowly draw all the worst people out of the better states. One step closer to living in paradise, baby!


donttouchthirdrail t1_jeeej94 wrote

Ban them!


Pickletonium t1_jeelf81 wrote

I wonder how many properties would be opened up to renters if it was banned. There's at least 4 right near the intersection I'm at in Wash Square West and it'd be pretty sweet of those were rentable.


UndercoverPhilly t1_jeerkhe wrote

There are also several on my block. I thought they were regular rentals but when I looked up their company and couldn't find it, I realized they are probably a short term rental.


donttouchthirdrail t1_jeeojah wrote

We need more housing! Ban airbnb. Residential and Commercial Vacancy taxes. Change zoning to be able to build 8 story buildings with no parking anywhere in the city. No size limits next to el, bsl, or regional rail with 20% of units at 60-120 AMI.


Trafficsigntruther t1_jefd7fd wrote

> I wonder how many properties would be opened up to renters if it was banned.



psc1919 t1_jefmgod wrote

Can’t wait until she moves to Florida!


__init__RedditUser t1_jeeo9uh wrote

Is the Inquirer worth the subscription?


inthegarden5 t1_jeesnlu wrote

It's struggling like all papers because of the loss of advertising and other income and certainly not what it was in the past. But imagine the city without a newspaper. Who'll investigate and report on city council and the mayor, and everything else in the city. Blogs and such don't make up for professionals who have the time to investigate complicated issues or follow up over time.


MeasurementPlus5570 t1_jeewbn6 wrote

Honestly, I think the Inquirer is a pretty great paper. Their occasional investigative pieces and Spotlight PA articles are very impressive. I wouldn't give up the Economist for it, but I'd cancel my Washington Post subscription before I gave up the Inquirer, and already quit NYT and Bloomberg.


BurnedWitch88 t1_jefpikx wrote

No. We held on for a long time but the reporting on many issues is sketchy at best. I was tangentially involved in a news story they covered extensively and they truly just ignored a huge relevant portion -- despite having the information. They definitely put a spin on some stories. I actually tend to agree with their biases in most cases, but I want objectivity from my news, not to be told the progressive party line.


JBizznass t1_jef410u wrote

No. They are garbage news. Use one of the work arounds to access the articles and give your money to better news sources.


pretzel_enjoyer t1_jeff8pu wrote

what are the better news sources


JBizznass t1_jegryou wrote

For fact base news any of the local major network affiliates. For op ed and investigative reporting I would say WHYY. Some of the more topic specific sources like Philadelphia Business journal are also good.


kekehippo t1_jefjufb wrote

What's the difference between my regular rental license and a temporary lodging license?


MxEmDarcy t1_jegjbkw wrote

It depends on the zoning. You can air bnb with: A residential zone and limited lodging provided you still have the home registered as your primary. If it is not your primary, you need a visitor accommodations zoning and a rental licence.

Residential and rental is for long term rentals (over 30 days at a time)