Rat Out Your Neighbors for Using Airbnb for Money?

airbnbThere’s a bill in San Francisco that “would financially reward residents who narc on their neighbors who illegally rent out their property.”

According to arstechnia, this bill would give narc-ing neighbors 30% of the fine levied against their neighbors.

Airbnb, a website where you can rent out your home for very short periods of time, has challenged this bill.

I know home owners prefer to live next to other home owners and not renters.  This is sorta like a hyper-version of renting.  It seems like that would be motivation alone for some neighbors to tell on Airbnb-ers rather than the 30% cut.

I want places like Airbnb to succeed but I start to feel a bit NIMBY about the concept.  Do I want my next door neighbors to be a rotating set of travelers with no permanent ties to the area?

Then again, since I travel so much, my neighbors (in the hotels I stay in) tend to be a rotating set of travelers ;)

What do you think about this bill?  Would you ever tell on a neighbor?  How would you feel if your neighbor rented out using Airbnb?

Hat tip to Overlawyered.

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discuss this post

  • Observer

    The problem here are neighbors who themselves are renters, and are themselves subletting the unit they are renting. That is really unacceptable.

    The 30% cut of the fine is poetic justice, since that is Airbnb’s cut of the rental on the site.

  • michael

    This is a slippery slope especially when the first person is wrongly accused and then sues the accuser should make this exciting to watch

  • Of course I’d report any sleazebags renting out their apartments/homes. They are ripping off everyone by not paying hotel taxes and employing people. And many of the rentals are being used by pimps and prostitutes for mobile brothels. Airbnb and all the others need to be regulated and taxed – just like any other legitimate business.

  • You all are missing the point completely. How does getting a license and paying taxes make a business legitimate? Employing people is a side effect of a business (secondary to making a profit); but Airbnb itself employs people and any revenue earned by property owners is employment. Additionally, the airbnb model allows for owners to reject anyone they don’t want staying in their place.

    Seems like you must work for a hotel association to be so against an innovative product that gives travelers additional lodging options and a way for property owners to earn incremental income. I’m assuming you’re against Uber as well.

  • bk3day

    There’s plenty of reasons why neighboring renters and building owners don’t want AirBnB in their building or community. Consequently, there’s great incentive to report even, without any compensation.

    I live in a NYC apt & in addition to building management, many residents do not want AirBnB transients. In fact, neighbors have even published community blogs, complete with pictures that zealously outed illegal renters and called for those scofflaws to lose their leases.

    AirBnB su lessors & customers have to be incredibly naive to think their activities are going unnoticed and unreported.

  • It depends on the relationship I have with my neighbor. If they’re friendly and good to me (and I to them) then I doubt I would rat them out. However, if they are annoying, unfair, and complete @#*$*%*, then I would rat them out in a heartbeat. Isn’t there a movie coming out soon called Neighbors? ;)

  • The problem is so much more complicated. I think they need legislation to stop companies using SF as a bedroom community. These employee shuttles are as much to blame for the expensive housing situation as AirBnB. I see AirBnB as the symptom not the cause.

  • I will “rat them out” at no charge.

    When I move into a place I choose it carefully and assume the HOA or tenant board of landlord maintains a certain environment. That can be done through covenants or just setting a certain price point. By renting out a place to all comers for the weekend it is degrading the quality of where I choose to live.

  • Justin Wong

    No way. Anything that sticks two fingers at traditional hotel associations that have been overcharging ordinary people for decades is a good thing in my book. While I wouldn’t rent my place myself, I welcome others who choose to be entrepreneurial and would want to be neighbours with such individuals.

  • casey

    I’m not against renting out your home to long terms renters, but when the owner is renting his house out every weekend to a different set of people, it starts to become an issue. Two neighbors cars have been broken into since he began renting is house on AirB&B.I have lived in the area for over 7 years, we never had a break in, the guest say they are renting to only 2-4 people and then end up having parties and park in front of everyone’s house. They are loud with backyard hottub sessions and parties and my husband and I have been forced to move out of out master bedroom and into the front room just to get some peace and quiet at night.. During the weekend we can’t enjoy our yard because the house is always rented to loud people who have no disregard that other people live in the neighborhood. It really sucks!!! It we would have known this, we wouldn’t have bought our house. It has been going on for two years and all you can do is complain, but it just keeps happening. There is no privacy anymore!!!

 
 

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