Breaking News: Airbnb Goes after a Boston Alderwoman, City Residents Fight Back

Posted on April 27, 2018 by LeaseAbuse

Architectural Photography of Red and Brown House

In this new section of our Blog, we aim to keep you up-to-date on news-worthy Airbnb related stories.

The debate over Airbnb in Boston revolves largely around skyrocketing real estate prices and an increasingly crowded rental marketplace. It has been estimated that over 2000 units were taken off the market to be used as short-term rentals, and the impact to apartment availability has been significant.

As the city of Boston began debating the ways to regulate short term rentals and home sharing, Airbnb had stayed silent. Up until recently, the hosts were doing much of the politicking. As we have seen in other areas, these Airbnb hosts consider themselves their own little industry. Renting their homes to short-term sub letters has become an important revenue stream that no one wants to reverse. So why has AirBnB suddenly decided to publicly delve into the debate? Like most everything these days, what happens on one side of the world can quickly affect decisions made on the other side.

Two Singapore Men Sling out Cash

In Singapore, new regulations went into effect just about a year ago, in mid-May 2017. The city couldn’t prosecute many of the illegal sublets because as we have seen with many municipalities, it’s a complex enforcement issue. However, the first case that was able to be prosecuted was a big one. Two men were each fined $60K for their illegal Airbnb short term rentals. Nonetheless, their illegal rental business has been so lucrative they were able to pay those fines on the spot, with smirks and smiles on their faces to boot. This interesting case took place earlier this month, in the beginning of April 2018.

How about them apples?

Back to Boston and shortly following the Singapore story, on April 17th, 2018, Airbnb decided to get active in the debates. They sent emails to over 1000 hosts and individuals residing in Boston complaining about the tactics of the city, targeting one Alderperson in particularly. Many Bostonians rose to the defense of the public servant because the statements Airbnb made were simply not true. This Boston Globe article goes into more of an explanation of how this situation played out.

As we look at these two different cases, it is very clear that Airbnb is a lucrative business and no longer simply a hobby for many hosts. As a result, Airbnb will go to great lengths in influencing the political battle fields. If you own or manage properties and are tired of not having recourse to get rid of short term rentals, let us know. We’d be happy to show you a demo of our system and how it can help.