Bill would prohibit short-term rental bans

Nebraska counties would no longer be able to ban property owners from renting their property through Airbnb and other short-term rental companies under a bill considered Feb. 11 by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Sen. Eliot Bostar
Sen. Eliot Bostar

Under LB631, introduced by Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln, counties still could adopt and enforce short-term rental ordinances that protect the health and safety of the public, but could no longer prohibit residents from renting all or part of their property for 30 or fewer days. The bill would not affect regulation of a homeowners association.

Bostar said the bill was an extension of one signed into law in 2019 that prohibits cities and villages from banning short-term rentals.

“The broader intent of the bill is to ensure that individuals are subject to consistent legal treatment regarding their ability to rent their property,” he said.

Tyson Franzen testified in support of LB631. Franzen said he has rented out his property in rural Otoe County as a campground through a short-term rental company. The county charged him $600 for a permit and imposed other requirements, he said.

“Campgrounds require things like 12-foot wide rock roads, full electric, water, septic [services, and] concrete paths. This was a very large investment that I could not afford, nor did I want to do,” Franzen said.

Laura Ebke of the Platte Institute also spoke in support of the bill.

“We don’t believe that counties that levy taxes on private property should place limits on how property owners can sublet their property provided that no real harm is being done to others in the process,” Ebke said.

No one testified against the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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