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Airbnb says home-sharing shouldn't be exclusive to homeowners

The short-term rental company wants more tenants to be able to host their homes to guests for supplemental income, not just homeowners.
Airbnb says home-sharing shouldn't be exclusive to homeowners
Posted at 12:40 PM, Apr 15, 2024

Airbnb wants more renters to be able to share their homes. In a statement posted on the company's site Friday, it said it is advocating for communities around the U.S. to adopt short-term rental policies that apply to renters and not just homeowners. 

Airbnb said not allowing renters to list their homes on the app and website is preventing a large part of the population from earning supplemental income. 

“Homeownership should not be a barrier to entry when it comes to sharing your home,” said Airbnb’s North America Policy Director Mike Signer in a statement. “The vast majority of hosts in the U.S. share their space to help cover the rising cost of living, and we want to partner with cities to develop sensible short-term rental policies that grant renters the opportunity to do the same.”

The company plans to work with cities and states to encourage them to adopt “renter-friendly short-term rental policies.” 

Cities like San Diego and Raleigh, North Carolina, have already passed these types of policies, Airbnb said. 

Most apartments and rental homes have stipulations in their lease agreements that forbid tenants from listing their homes, or part of their homes, on short-rental sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. For landlords, there are concerns about short-term guests not being responsible or respectful while staying at their properties, which could lead to an insurance nightmare. 

Although Airbnb has its AirCover protection policy that is designed to help hosts with damage protection and liability insurance, it's not an insurance policy. 

There have also been short-term rental horror stories, like a woman in Los Angeles who was notoriously dubbed the “tenant from hell” after allegedly living rent-free at an Airbnb home for 575 days because of loopholes in the local rental laws. 

Even if landlords allow their tenants to host short-term guests, the individual cities and counties they’re in might not. Popular destination cities like Charleston, South Carolina, restrict short-term rentals exclusively to homeowners and have implemented strict regulations for them.

In some cases, renters who want to host on Airbnb might have to apply for a special license or pay additional fees and taxes to their local government. 

But Airbnb said home-sharing shouldn’t just be for homeowners — especially when renters are more likely to need the supplemental income, according to U.S. Census Bureau data

The company has also pledged a $100,000 donation to the Flagstone Initiative, a nonprofit that helps prevent renters who are struggling financially from getting evicted. 

SEE MORE: Airbnb is banning indoor security cameras in listings across the world

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