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Laying Down and the Law

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New Orleans' Code of Ordinances Section 54-491.1. addresses short-term rentals, as well as the city's responsibility to publish a semiannual report with a list of violators.

Prohibited offers to rent property, in part:

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly offer to rent for monetary compensation for a period of less than 30 days or, in the case of premises located in the Vieux Carre District, 60 days, any living accommodations in the city if the premises offered for rent are not lawfully licensed or permitted for such use. It shall be the duty of any person offering to rent premises in the city for a period of less than 30 days or, in the case of premises located in the Vieux Carre District, 60 days, personally or through another person, to ascertain through the approved list or otherwise, whether or not the property offered for rental is lawfully licensed or permitted for such use.

(f) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall receive a written warning regarding such violation. For a second offense, such person shall be fined not less than $500. On a third or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, the offender shall be fined not less than $500 and sentenced to not less than 30 days in jail. Notwithstanding anything contained herein, any person offering to rent premises which appear on the approved list published at the time of such offer shall not be subject to prosecution hereunder.

(i) No later than August 1, 2004, the city shall publish the approved list. It shall also be the duty of the chief administrative officer of the city to order the preparation of a semiannual report to the city council stating:

  (1) The names of any person or persons who have been found in violation of this section;

  (2) The number of complaints made under this section;

  (3) The administrative action taken by the city;

  (4) The number of complaints referred to the city attorney's office for prosecution; and

  (5) The outcome or disposition of said referrals. Said report shall be posted on the Internet site of the city.

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