Airbnb is a popular website for the average person to list a room for rent and get some extra money, but a new report from a hotel industry group alleges some landlords are abusing the system.
“It’s the folks that come in and buy entire buildings, operate as a hotel and don’t have to follow the same set of rules hotels have to follow,” Jimmy Blackman, Los Angeles Hotel Association, said.
Jimmy Blackman with the Los Angeles Hotel Association said the problem is widespread across the city, but the hardest hit area is Venice.
The website for the organization “Keep Neighborhoods First” allows residents to report which buildings they believe have been converted exclusively for short-term rental use.
“I know of multiple buildings on my street alone where renters have been kicked out to make way for Airbnb,” Venice resident, Emily Russell, said. “It’s not people who are renting out rooms to strangers on the Internet it’s companies that are renting out rooms, kind of de-facto illegal hotels.”
According to the report, which surveyed twelve major U-S cities, nearly 30 percent of Airbnb’s revenue comes from year round rentals.
The company released a statement, which reads in part “The report uses misleading data to make false claims and attack middle class families who share their homes and use the money they earn to pay the bills.”
“We were there for about four days with a lovely couple and it was lovely,” Michelle Stegley said of her stay in Silver Lake.
But the mom-and-pop renter is not the hotel industry’s concern, according to Blackman.
The hotel association said the city council is considering legislation to help regulate the short-term rental market.
“Eventually it will cut into hotel business,” Blackman said. “It will cut into revenue to the city of Los Angeles each year. The hotel industry pays about 200 million dollars to the city’s general fund.”
While Airbnb might have the name recognition there are other companies also providing the same service.