I haven’t paid a ton of attention to Airbnb and similar services that let residents in a city rent out a portion of their home (or the entire thing) on a night-by-night basis to guests.
I like my privacy, I tend to like the impersonal nature of hotels even as I like being treated warmly as a guest. And I’m fairly ingrained in the elite status and points world.
No doubt there are great values to be had by paying a small amount of money to rent out someone’s apartment instead of a hotel. And no doubt it’s a great way for residents to make use of underutilized resources such as an extra room or their whole place when they aren’t going to be using it.
Have you used Airbnb or similar services? They’ve certainly ramped up their screening after controversies over people renting out space in their home and being robbed. Staying in a hotel is far from riskless, either, though you rarely hear the horror stories of crimes that go on in traditional lodging. (And homes are robbed by non-guests all the time as well of course.)
I found this video discussion of Airbnb-type services and the ways that municipalities are regulating them interesting.
It suggests that:
- Portland, Oregon prohibits Airbnb in residential portions of the city, but allows it in industrial areas — as long as there is off-street parking available and a six foot paves sidewalk between the building and the street. (That would seem to prevent you from renting a room in your own apartment through Airbnb.)
- Austin requires a home inspection, a $285 permit, and sets quotas for participation by neighborhood.
- New York City requires homeowners to be present when guests are there, and guests to be given open access to the whole home.
- There are instances in New York where landlords subject to rent control have withdrawn units from the rental market and listed properties for transient occupancy on Airbnb instead.
Would you use a service like this? What would have to happen for you to become comfortable with it? Should your neighbors be allowed to rent out their homes this way?