Why Airbnb is not Illegal

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Airbnb is not illegal – anywhere.

It seems that everyone has been writing about Airbnb for some years now. And because the company is often in the news, it’s certainly a good way to get hits to your website. But that’s not why I’m writing this…. The reason for this article is that, because I am an Airbnb host, I’m often hearing statements such as ‘Airbnb is illegal where I live’ or ‘Airbnb has just been made illegal in New York’. All nonsense.

No-one has made Airbnb illegal

But, because using the company name in headlines generally gets attention, then journalists will use it. but there has never been any city, state, municipality or any other body that the ‘banned’ Airbnb. The truth of the matter is as follows:

Short term rental legislation has been passed in some areas

This means, to give just one example, that a city might ban allowing guests to stay for periods of less than one month in rental apartments that would otherwise be used for local housing. This means that no one can rent an apartment there for under thirty days be it from a newspaper advert, Craigslist or booking services such as Trip Advisor, Homeaway, Expedia, Booking.com and of course, Airbnb. They cannot rent from any source.

This does not mean, as many journalists prefer to say, that Airbnb has been deemed illegal.

It’s simply a housing law.

It does not mean that people can’t rent rooms in their homes for a week, a day or whatever period they choose. These laws are to prevent unscrupulous ‘hosts’ who rent apartments, then sublet them – usually against the terms of their leases.

In the days before the internet, there have always been people who have ‘taken in lodgers’, ‘done B & B’ or ‘run a boarding house’. This has not been legislated against which is a good thing because often these scenarios were (and are) run by mom & pop operations or single people who are benefitting themselves and the community financially.

No one wants unscrupulous hosts who may provide poor accommodation, provide illegal accommodation (because they are not allowed to sublet) or avoid paying their local transient occupancy taxes. From any source….

Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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