I am curious as to the usefulness of this feature. Neighbors can report bad hosts with an airbnb form. It seems that a few bad hosts give us a bad reputation and that is how we are facing this regulations onslaught by local governments. Any experiences either bad or good? Regards, Curt Peterson
The main reason STR legislation has been implemented is because of the impact it has on availability of private rented housing in the local economy and therefore the impact it has on those living and working in major towns and cities and local communities.
Bad airbnb hosts is not really much of a consideration when it comes to government legislation…
Thanks for your reply. Here in Traverse City Michigan area it is ALL about neighbors complaining of bad rentals whether it is deep water point in Acme Twp. or a rowdy party house on Old Mission Peninsula or in town parties late at night at airbnb houses in the summer wherby the locals need to get up esrly. That is what it is here. Every township and the City of Traverse City are all having hearings now on short term rentals and airbnb. Those of us who are responsible home sharing hosts are most likely going to be penalized due to the few bad hosts who have the neighbors up in arms. Our last Peninsula Twp meeting was filled with neighbors complaining. Our Alliance members of Responsible Grand Traverse Home Sharing held our ground well but we are out numbered and more regulation is anticipated. We are fighting though. Thanjs. Curt Peterson.
When I went to Los Angeles City Council hearings about Airbnb, the vast majority of the complaints were about the impact on the neighbors (noise, parking, “new people every two or three days”, “changing the nature of the neighborhood”, etc.). I heard very little testimony from people who were concerned about the impact of Airbnb on the availability of rental housing.
It is a fact that STRs and in particular Airbnb - the biggest player, has been changing the face of local communities in major areas - driving up house prices, decreasing the amount of affordable rental property, breaking down local community structures and as you mention airbnb hosts who don’t manage their listings can lead to noisy guests/anti social behavioous who upset people in the community where they are based.
Of course for many who host it has been great - enabling them to build up large incomes/pay mortgages/meet new people. And it has given a boost to those who want to set up businesses to support tourism from cafes and tourist attractions.
@EllenN - Airbnb citizen is funded by Airbnb as a lobby group for airbnb in communities - it’s hardly going to come out and say that Airbnb has a negative impact on communities is it !
Here is an alternative view
In Los Angeles, CA, virtually all of the Airbnb listings are in the areas where housing prices were already very high. Airbnb is not contributing to gentrification here. In fact, low housing prices attract young, first-time buyers to an area which then becomes gentrified. Therefore, it is low for the area, not high for the area housing prices that cause gentrification.
In the article you attached, Peter Boelhouwer, professor of housing systems at the University of Technology in Delft says that Airbnb is not a primary factor in Amsterdam’s gentrification.
In Los Angeles, experts estimate that we would need 550,000 new housing units to ease the housing crisis. Even if all Airbnb listings were rented to long term tenants (and bear in mind that some of them are tents in backyards) it would be only a tiny fraction of the needed domociles.
It’s a shame you feel unable to acknowledge the impact Airbnb has on larger cities including your own @EllenN.
It’s certainly not a black and white issue. As I have already said for individuals such as us Airbnb has a great economic benefit - we benefit financially as does local tourism and of course for the owners and shareholder of Airbnb they are delighted to have become a global corporation with profits to match.
I understand this and provide free accommodation for young homeless people in my city and also contribute to local environmental and community projects through fundraising and volunteering. Both because I believe in being part of my community and to help in a small way to offset the impact on STR in my city which has driven up house prices and has decreased the amount of rental accommodation available for local people in my city.
No-one is saying that not having STR would solve the housing crisis overnight in cities in which Airbnb or other STRs operate, just that it is an increasing part of the problem.
Hi @curtpete, I’m also a TC resident (Old Towne)
I haven’t heard a complaint through Airbnb, but one neighbor (with a temper!) told me he didn’t like me running a “hotel over there”. He hadn’t experienced any noise or parking issues; it was about fear of thugs from “Flint or Detroit” staying next door. (I’ve had people of all types, but no thugs. ha ha)
You’re right on about the bad apples. When I’ve talked one-on-one with disgruntled neighbors at council meetings, they’ve had legitimate complaints about absentee landlords who aren’t managing issues effectively.
I posted on another thread (about HOAs) about this same thing. The fear of the outsider. People have many of the same biases about LTRs as well. Homeowners in a neighborhood always talk smack about the “rental house.” Your neighbor’s honesty about the issue is unusual. LOL. It’s one of those things that people don’t like to talk about because they don’t want to be accused of racism or any other -ism.
We have a shortage of reasonably priced rentals in the downtown area. Interestingly, they’re cracking down on STR in the neighborhoods while commercial districts are largely unregulated. I’ve noticed a huge influx of Airbnb listings in commercial areas as all the funky apartments above businesses, and storefronts themselves, become STR. Entire apartments buildings are no longer available to long-term residents.
Meanwhile, in residential neighborhoods where hosts must be on-site and whole-house rentals are prohibited, many hosts are sharing space that would otherwise go unused. Renting a spare bedroom or finished basement to visitors increases the hotel stock, decreasing prices that are the highest in the region (avg $225/night).
People here talk about creating affordable housing, but all their regulations work against it. You can’t have both a STR permit (<7 days) and an ADU (garage apts with a minimum 3-month contract) in Traverse City. I don’t know why the city thinks a family of 4 with grandma above the garage is different than 3 visitors from Chicago and me in the house with a local above the garage. It’s Kafkaesque, slightly xenophobic, and fails to recognize the realities of how society is changing. Doing Airbnb helps subsidize living in a high cost of living town.
It’s a shame that you don’t see that Airbnb is being used as a scapegoat by city governments who lack the will to deal with the housing crisis in their cities. In every city where it’s being claimed that Airbnb is taking long term rentals off the market there was already a severe housing crisis.
Rent control is a huge driver of housing shortages, yet I rarely hear anyone say that rent control must be eliminated.
In large urban areas I believe the issue is driven by affordable housing. In rural areas or small towns it is driven by quality of life issues, which include bad hosts, but not exclusively.
The housing crisis is an international issue in big cities.
Rent control, as I would hope you would know is US specific legislation introduced post WW1 in an effort to protect tenants from rent profiteering and unfair evictions.
Currently, rent control “protects” tenants from evictions fair or unfair. In Los Angeles, CA to evict a tenant for non-payment and/or breaking the terms of the lease takes at least three months, usually longer (up to about two years). The landlord must hire an attorney and often has to pay the tenant to leave. There are attorneys here who specialize in keeping tenants in housing when they aren’t paying rent. The rent ceilings mean that many landlords aren’t breaking even on renting their property. If you evict a tenant because you’re taking the property off the market you have to pay relocation fees, up to tens of thousands of dollars. Regardless of the genesis of rent control, it is now a huge driver of the housing crisis in large cities.
Also, many people don’t know that there is no means testing to qualify for rent control. I know several people who were making high professional salaries and were renting property for 1/4 of the market rate.
I don’t know what you mean by “rent profiteering”. Of course landlords want to make a profit. Why else would you rent property?
Of course they do, that’s not what it means the term refers to excessive rents.
As the price of rent, like every other commodity, is determined by the laws of supply and demand; I don’t know what you mean my “excessive rents”.
Just Google it - it’s not what I mean - it’s an established term.
I never mention you or your property in relation to excessive rents.
The term excess rent refers to leases that are over the current market. Tenants who benefit from rent control pay way under the current market.
Lots of good comments for all of us to consider. We do have issues with housing here in Traverse City Michigan. We are a huge tourist town in the summer with the clear Lake Michigan out our front door, great beaches, the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, great road bicycle and mountain bike riding and vineyards. Our local DDA (downtown business authority and the chamber of commerce and other civic groups are very much concerned about having “workforce housing” as we need lots of seasonal and many mostly year round workers to help businesses in the commercial areas. But Downtown Traverse City is medium to high cost. It is not a place where a minimum wage or close to minimum wage worker can afford to (definitely purchase) rent without roommates. But that is the talk: trying to increase workforce housing. But does airbnb in which a host rents out a portion of their house cause this problem. Most likely not but again as pointed out maybe a whole house rental does. But the market wants more short term housing based on our tourist economy. Most hotels are totally filled in the summer time.
But I can tell you in our area (we have one municipality (Traverse City proper) and 5 townships). The overriding complaint we hear is bad guests staying in whole house airbnb or vrbo or homeaway rentals. I personally would like to get rid of hosts who cannot control bad behavior of their guests. Their inattention is about to affect the rest of us who have wonderful guests who treat our environment with respect. Yes I get it is nice to have a beach bonfire at night. But the locals have to go to work in the morning and houses and cottages are really close to each other. That is why I was asking about any success in the airbnb program whereby neighbors can report bad behavior. I am part of an Alliance for Responsible Traverse Home Sharing and want solutions that work. I should not have to face legislation or go through a permit process to share a portion of my house. Regards, Keep the great comments coming. Curt Peterson
@curtpete. This is a problem in every single Cape Cod town, every Lakes Region [NH] town, this is true in every single town that has an influx of seasonal workers. I have to say, why is it up to property owners to solve this problem? Businesses need to solve their own employment issues. Clever restaurants and hotels on the Cape have built dormitories and charge a reasonable fee for occupancy. No business in any of these areas can pay only minimum wage. Starting wages are over double that pittance.
AirBNB is simply not the issue under these circumstances. These kinds of places have always had seasonal rentals. Around here, this is how people can pay the property taxes.
And, what happens if a 90 day minimum does go through? Why would you need all those seasonal workers anymore? If half the places to stay are no longer available, the number of tourists that need to be served will go way down.
You might want to read some of Governor Charlie Baker [R] comments and studies about how forbidding seasonal rentals would devastate many tourist destinations. Heck, he has even decided not to collect hotel taxes at the state level on STR. And he is a republican.