Airbnb listed properties are serving a purpose all around the world. Home-sharing is this purpose. Property owners now have the capability and profitability, thanks to tech company Airbnb, to use their property for short-term use for guests. Airbnb is able to serve as a middleman for people with open rooms, rental properties, or even a tent, van, and tree house. Thus, making the supply seemingly infinite. They are dominating the home-sharing industry and have taken the hospitality industry by storm. Airbnb is stronger than ever. It has become a formidable player in the home-sharing community. And now the hotel industry is fighting Airbnb to be top dog.
It should be no surprise that Airbnb continues to face legal concerns over its use of home-sharing in most major cities around the world. They are being accused of hurting local economies and contributing to the rising of rental and home prices. However, that is all it is, accusations, opinions, and downright ignorance. It is still quite shocking to me when I talk to someone who has not heard of Airbnb. And from what I have seen from neighborhood meetings, town halls, and planning committees, people who are uneducated with the facts tend to become Nimby’s (Not In My Back Yard). Airbnb has tapped into a demanding market and has figured out home-sharing the right way. It is my duty as a homeowner and host to continue home-sharing the right way as well.
Hotels are weary of Airbnb. They see home-sharing as a threat and have been aggressive in spinning their agenda on municipalities all over the world. City officials are struggling to find common ground that will benefit everyone while protecting the fundamental property rights of homeowners and businesses alike. Every city has its own laws, ordinances, and regulations. I am not here to dive into what laws or ordinances need to be created. I will leave that up to the people more qualified and smarter than me. However, when property rights are infringed upon things get messy. I believe that homeowners have three fundamental rights; to buy, to sell, and to rent their properties.
I am still not convinced that home-sharing hurts the hotel industry. In fact, I think home-sharing fills a hole that has been around for a long time. A hole that the hotel industry has not filled and will probably never fill. Hotels and home-sharing are two sides of a coin.
From what I can gather, the real issue behind home-sharing is not the act of home-sharing itself but rather the nuisance that may be associated with home-sharing. Here in Nashville, the vast majority of complaints that come from neighbors deal with nuisance issues on non-owner occupied properties. Nuisance issues about loud parties, large amounts of trash in the yard, and cars blocking the streets are the main concerns. Please note, these type of issues can arise for any rental type, whether that be for short or long term. The simple fact is that when guests/tenants are unsupervised these types of issues will more than likely arise. Which is why it is extremely rare for owner-occupied rental properties to receive complaints. The owners live on the property and are able to supervise their guests.
I know a handful of investors and everyday, hard working people who have purchased property for renting purposes. Some use their investment properties for long term renting, while others use for short term renting.
The bottom line, be a hands on Host. Supervise your guests.
Obviously, this will be more difficult for non-owner occupied properties and you may have thought of every solution that could happen when it comes to your rental property. Some people just do not follow rules. This may be hard to hear and it may not be your fault if you are a responsible host. But, you can do all you can until you are blue in the face and it still may not be enough. Your guests may mess up and cause a disturbance. And it is unfortunate that a few bad apples can spoil it for responsible homeowners.
Regardless of how you feel about home-sharing, it is undeniable that it is at the center of a very heated debate. It will not be solved overnight. Government officials should ensure they weigh all options before making decisions on this topic. Homeowners should ensure they do everything in their power to be a responsible host and limit nuisance complaints that may arise from fellow neighbors. Neighbors of home-sharing homes should not be so quick to restrict such activity since the positive outweighs the negative in most markets around the world.
Open the lines of communication and be willing to accept change.
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