In an attempt to further get my arms around this issue I’m seeing more and more contradictions and disparity. Yet one similarity to the VPR space gave me a major flashback.

Take this report from the Miami Herald.

Specifically this quote “Short-term rentals also generate a lot of tax revenue.” That is not the case in the vast majority of other areas. Clearly this is one of several areas that have an agreement with the AirBnBs etc. What about the ones that don’t?

  1. So the City declares short-term rentals illegal, allocates significant resources to address, issues significant fines, recoups only a small percentage, yet the County received over $8mm in taxes just from AirBnB alone. I’m going to assume a significant amount from that is going to the City.  It seems like there must be a better way!
  2. Efforts were made to protect the property owner with no indication that the motive (owner declaring they were not aware tenant was sub-letting as a short-term rental) is valid, but nothing to protect the end user (in most areas  this is the primary concern). Here’s a quote from the article “Simmer, from Charlotte, explained how he and his wife paid $600 for a three-night stay at a different apartment building — 1619 Jefferson Ave. — and were directed to go to a “welcome center” at a hostel at 236 Ninth St. when they arrived from the airport. There, he said, someone told them the apartment they booked had a plumbing problem so they would be staying at 1518 Drexel Ave. Apt. 9A instead, which was not nearly as nice as the apartment they’d been promised.”

Santa Monica wins in court and can hold the two of the largest hosting companies responsible for booking rentals of residences that aren’t licensed by the city.

One section gave me a serious case of déjà vu. “Airbnb and HomeAway argued that the Santa Monica ordinance makes it impossible for them to operate, particularly if other municipalities adopt similar laws, because it would require them to monitor and remove listings for unregistered residences.”

As I wrote in my first blog posting, I basically said the same thing regarding mortgage servicers and “VPR” ordinances a number of years ago. Mortgage servicers adapted and figured it out, I have no doubts the AirBnBs of the world will too.