‘It’s great’: Newport mayor thrilled for new third-party rental registration
NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island’s new short-term property registry is live, kickstarting the countdown to when property owners must register with by January.
“I think it’s sending a message you can’t just come in here, buy a property, leave town and leave it to some booking agent to occupy the house at your will and not be responsible for the liability,” Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said.
Napolitano was one of the leading forces behind this new registry.
This motivation from the mayor largely coming after a 22-year-old University of Rhode Island student was stabbed to death at a house party held at a third-party rental home.
In March, Newport city officials banned short-term rental properties, like Airbnb, from residential neighborhoods.
The city also had to hire a full-time compliance officer to simply follow-up on complaints from the near 300 rental places throughout the city.
Napolitano said the safety aspect of it is just one layer to it — added parking and traffic from these rentals are also a problem.
“I think this will also open up the opportunity for locals for housing — who work here, which is important,” Napolitano said.
If property owners do not register by Jan. 1, they will face a series of fines from the state.