Airbnb, an American company, founded in 2008, over nine years ago has well and truly disrupted the short-term rental market. Where traditionally, travellers would seek out hotels, hostels or guesthouses, Airbnb gives travellers the chance to move into an already furnished house for a set period, while the owner is away or just not using one of the rooms. Operating as a broker, not touring any viewings, the company holds over five million listings worldwide in 191 countries with over 300 million check-ins.
To the outsider, Airbnb is a great success story. Perfect for travellers and homeowners alike, it allows each party a lot more control over the rental process. However, an outside party who are not so happy with Airbnb operations are city and state governments. Angering the governing class for a number of reasons here are a list of cities where the Airbnb idea ran into trouble.
- New York City
October 2016 saw New York introduce laws banning short term rental of less than 30 days. Advertising the space for short term rental is illegal too. This restriction is subject to the owner being at home. If authorities find an Airbnb guest with no person living there present, fines of up to $7,500 can apply, enough to discourage you from doing it I’d imagine.
In April 2016, the German city banned landlords for renting out short term to travellers with a maximum fine of €100,000. The law has since been relaxed by cities rule makers, but landlords must still abide by firm conditions in relation to renting out their space on Airbnb.
Amsterdam, the home to canals and the red-light district capital of Europe, has some of the toughest laws on Airbnb in Europe. Only the owner of the apartment or house is permissible to rent out the space, and only for a maximum of 60 days, with just 4 visitors. The regulators in the city are very tough on Airbnb rental and have imposed fines of up to €24,000. The 18 million people who visit the city annually will need to keep this in mind when visiting.
- New Orleans
The blues capital of America, with more than 4,000 listings, has banned Airbnb listings in the French Quarter while visitors coming to the city are unable to rent out whole houses or apartments
The capital of the small island of Iceland in the Atlantic, gaining more and more popularity with tourists, has introduced laws to limit landlords renting out their units on the website. Since the 1st January 2017, the government has said landlords can only rent out their space for 90 days a year before having to apply for a hospitality licence. Fees of over $8,000 can apply and the local authorities have been said to been quite strict in applying the laws, raiding several premises used to rent on Airbnb.
It’s a multimillion dollar industry and even with laws restricting their activities throughout the world, Airbnb continues to grow and made a $93 million profit in 2017.
Megan DeGrom was born and raised in New Jersey just outside the Pine Barrons. As a journalist, Megan has contributed to many online publications including Rotten Tomatoes and Variety. In regards to academics, Megan earned a degree in business from St. John’s University. Megan covers economy stories here at Clear Publicist.