Portland files suit against short-term rental company

The city is suing HomeAway.com for $2.5 million for alleged violations.

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The city of Portland is suing HomeAway.com for $2.5 million for alleged violations.

On Tuesday, Portland served the site, as well as VRBO.com, to cease and desist.

The city accused HomeAway.com of failing to collect Portland and Multnomah County hotel taxes; failing to provide the Revenue Division with names and addresses of local hosts upon request; failing to display the permit numbers for short-term rentals to demonstrate completion of health and safety inspections; and failing to register with the Revenue Division within 15 days of commencing business.

“We will not stand by while short-term rental websites flout basic consumer protection and tax laws,” said Revenue Division Director Thomas Lannom in the release. “We offered to work with, and later repeatedly warned HomeAway.com about its obligations under Portland city code. We now find ourselves in the position of needing to take more forceful action.”

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

The city first fined HomeAway earlier in 2015 in June.

HomeAway director of government relations Matt Curtis has issued a statement saying the company cannot comment on pending litigation.

“However,” Curtis adds, “our goal in Portland, and all other municipalities for that matter, has always been to work collaboratively with lawmakers to introduce fair regulation that balances the needs of the community with the rights of property owners, residents and travelers. HomeAway has repeatedly offered to assist the city of Portland, and other cities, in collecting taxes that have been properly assessed and is disappointed that the city has chosen not to engage us to find a solution.”

(SOURCE: Willamette Week)


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