The hotel industry supports home sharing, the rights of property owners to rent out a room in their home, and we have advocated for ordinances that officially legalize such short-term rentals. But we also believe short-term rentals should abide by the same laws as hotels and every other business: registering their business, paying taxes, following laws and regulations, and removing illegal listings.

Unfortunately, many Big Tech short-term rental platforms flout local laws, creating safety concerns, reducing affordable housing inventory, driving up rent prices, and displacing long-term residents. Communities across the country are recognizing this growing challenge and adopting common-sense regulations to reign in illegal hotels. 

Unfortunately, certain rental platforms, such as Airbnb and HomeAway, are exploiting a loophole in federal law to avoid compliance with local laws and ordinances. Rather than work with cities on reasonable regulations for short-term rentals, hey have sued in federal and state courts, preferring to litigate rather than negotiate a workable framework.

States and municipalities should be free to adopt and implement reasonable planning and zoning laws that govern short-term rentals. Billion-dollar tech platforms that profit from their website content should be accountable for that content and should be required to remove rental listings when found to be illegal. 

The Protecting Local Authority and Neighborhoods Act (PLAN Act) would amend Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act to make it clear that CDA 230 does not shield Big Tech short-term rental platforms from complying with state and local laws. 

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CBRE Study

AHLA Position

AHLA supports common-sense regulations and accountability of the short-term rental industry.

AHLA urges Congress to pass the PLAN Act to amend CDA 230.

Short-Term Rental Toolkit

The Short-Term Rental Toolkit is designed to be a resource for current members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). It contains earned media examples, talking points, studies and additional materials that can be used to engage and advocate on common-sense regulations and accountability of the short-term rental industry to ensure a level and legal playing field within the lodging sector. For questions or more information, please contact Isabela Dorneles at idorneles@ahla.com.

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Airbnb Agreements with State and Local Tax Agencies 

This report evaluates twelve publicly released agreements that Airbnb has entered with state or local governments that directly address lodging taxes, but have impacts on other state and local laws.  The agreements are from across the nation and have effective dates ranging from 2014 into 2017.  Because of their variations in geography and time, the report assumes that these 12 agreements are reasonably representative of the larger body of approximately 200 agreements that Airbnb has signed. The large majority of Airbnb agreements are being held secret from the public.

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Hosts with Multiple Units – A Key Driver of Airbnb Growth

This report, conducted by CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research, reveals that a significant and growing portion of Airbnb’s revenue is generated by operators who rent out more than one residential property to short-term visitors. The national review of Airbnb’s operations spotlights 13 of the nation’s largest markets: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Oahu, Portland, OR, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

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Key Stats

Commercial landlords are using Airbnb to rent out multiple residential properties year-round, just like a hotel, while avoiding regulation and taxes.

  • In the U.S., hosts renting out two or more entire-home units generated nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2016. In the 13 markets highlighted, revenue reached $700 million.
  • 81% of Airbnb’s U.S. revenue – $4.6 billion – comes from whole-unit rentals (those rentals where the owner is not present during the time of the rental), rising from 78% in the prior year. 
  • Hosts with 10 or more properties are generating a quarter of all multi-host revenue, roughly $175 million in the 13 markets studied.
  • Each of the 13 cities studied saw an increase in the total number of listings by multi-unit hosts. In Nashville, Seattle, Oahu, and New Orleans, the growth of the number of units managed by multi-unit operators more than doubled -- and Nashville saw an increase of more than 160%.
  • Revenue growth for entire-home properties increased by an average of 76% in the 13 markets studied. Nashville (+283%) was the fastest growing market followed by Oahu (+187%) and New Orleans (+144%).

According to a recent study from CBRE: Hosts with Multiple Units -- A Key Driver of Airbnb Growth

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If you’re a New Yorker struggling to find affordable housing, the only thing more troubling than these currents trends is the latest threat to affordable housing forces: Airbnb and other illegal hotel operators.

Talking Points

Members only resource offering high level bullet points on the key issues affecting our industry today.

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Take Action

Make your voice heard! Here you will have the exclusive access to innovative tools that will allow you to take immediate action on important legislative initiatives through concise emails delivered instantly to your Representatives urging their support of lodging-friendly positions.

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