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Cities Take Control

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Cities across the country are taking control, responding to a surge of citizen concern about the rapid proliferation of non-resident investor owned Airbnb rental operations springing up on quiet streets in residential communities.

Mayors and city councils from New York to Los Angeles are taking decisive action to prevent investor owned vacation/party house operators from ruining the quality of life in their neighborhoods. 

Cities Take Control

  • Chicago recently placed a 30 day minimum on rentals because of the problems daily vacationers were causing for residents in quiet neighborhoods and in high rise buildings. There is a website that flags daily/weekly rentals. Violators can be fined $1,500/day. 
  • San Francisco requires that vacation rental operators live in their property at least 275 nights a year, and be present when hosting an Airbnb guest. They can only have one property for rent at a time, and limit daily rentals to 90 nights/year.  
  • New York’s law is similar to San Francisco, requiring Airbnb operators to be local residents, and be personally present during short term rentals. They may only rent one property at a time. Violators can be fined up to $7,500/day.
  • Los Angeles requires daily vacation rental operators to live in their properties at least 6 months/year and be personally present in the property with short term rental guests. Daily rentals in any one home are limited to 120 nights/year.  
  • Honolulu just passed an ordinance prohibiting daily vacation rentals of less than 30 days. It also requires existing operators to provide neighbors within 250 feet a phone number they can call 24 hours a day to file complaints. 

Innocent Beginnings

It started innocently.  In 2008, struggling roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were having trouble paying the rent on their San Francisco loft. There was a design conference coming to San Francisco and the city’s hotels were fully booked, so they came up with the idea of renting out three airbeds on their living-room floor.

Breakfast Included 

To make their rental ad more unique, Chesky and Gebbia offered to fix breakfast each morning for guests. Sleeping on air mattresses, and serving breakfast, ultimately inspired the name Air Bed and Breakfast… later shortened to Airbnb.  

Innocence Lost 

From innocent beginnings, the concept of earning a few extra bucks by renting out a spare bedroom has now become a multi-billion dollar business for non-resident investors who snap up residentially zoned homes on quiet streets and convert them into nightly vacation and party house rentals. 

Zoning/Building Code Violations

Regular motel/hotel operators must locate their buildings in commercial zoning. Yet vacation rental operators essentially run businesses in residentially zoned communities.

No Professional Staff

Regular motel/hotel operators have professionally trained on-site staff to ensure guests don’t act unruly or throw late night parties that disturb others. By contrast, vacation rental operators typically have no on-site staff, and many do nothing more than hire a cleaning service to wash the sheets and straighten up the property between rentals. 

Your Property Value

Do you think your home’s value will go up or down if an investor owned Airbnb rental opens next door? The best way to answer that question is to ask yourself whether you would buy a home next to what is effectively a neighborhood motel catering to transient vacationers.

Bad Law  

If you live outside Arizona, you are fortunate that you don’t have a law restricting your community from regulating short term rentals. In Arizona we do, and it’s creating a nightmare for our communities. I head a repeal campaign at Check it out.

In 2017 a law became effective in Arizona like nothing that exists in any other state. It prevents my community, your community, and every community in Arizona from regulating short term rentals. 

This means that your community cannot do what other communities around the country, large and small, are doing to protect their citizens and preserve property values.

I’ve written about it before and I am determined to do something about it. Please help. If you live in Arizona, sign the repeal petition at

It won’t cost you a dime, will take very little of your time, and could make a big difference in the quality of your life.

Mayors, city council members, and legislators come and go, but neighborhoods don’t go anywhere.
– Rashida Tlaib

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