The Future. Hosting short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo is becoming more difficult as major cities institute new restrictions on platforms and their hosts — including regulations, license requirements, and some outright bans for properties with rentals of 30 days or less. That’s forcing hosts to pivot to offering longer-term stays, even though they’re not as profitable… which may end up sparking a boutique hotel renaissance to accommodate vacationers.
The long arm of the law
Unregulated short-term rentals aren’t long for this world.
- The reason for the new laws, according to Bloomberg, is unregulated short-term rentals “reduce the availability of affordable housing, boost local rents, and create unnecessary risks for guests and neighbors.”
- And the regulations are working. Cities that’ve instituted rules have seen the share of short-term rentals drop below pre-COVID levels (but have jumped up in those where there are no regulations).
- But hosts say the regulations violate their constitutional rights and have joined platforms in suing cities (which could take years to work through the courts).
To avoid the headaches (and fines), Airbnb hosts are switching to medium-term rentals (more than a month, less than a year), which have fewer regulations.
That strategy is proving successful — Airbnb says customer demand is surging in that sector, with stays of 28 nights or more representing the fastest-growing category on the platform at 22% of overall nights booked.
But a word to the wise: in New York and Kansas, anyone who stays somewhere for more than 30 days isn’t considered a guest anymore… they’re a tenant.