Regulating Short-Term Rentals In an Era of AirBnB

The sharing economy, in which people rent their assets to others, usually using web-based services to find renters and collect rental fees, is a cultural revolution in the way people shop for nand rent cars, homes, bedrooms, tools, and specialty equipment. These new markets that have
brought new businesses, such as Airbnb, to cities have gone largely unregulated. Furthermore, their impact on the local economy and community character is not well understood.

Companies like Airbnb argue that tourists who visit cities and stay in an Airbnb contribute significantly to the local economy. Critics of Airbnb charge that the company does not pay its fair dues in sales and occupancy taxes, unfairly competes with hotels and B&Bs that pay these taxes, and take units out of the housing stock, thereby exacerbating affordable housing problems. Furthermore, Airbnb units are not subject to the same health, safety, and building code standards other types of lodging and are often not monitored or regulated.

The City of Asheville, a destination for tourism, is currently grappling with how to best address the rising number of short-term rental housing or STRs in the city boundaries. This study is intended to assist the City to update its STR policy and offer different possibilities on how to implement such a policy.

2014 Nguyen, Mai Thi and Cara Wittekind*. Short-Term Rental Programs, Policies, and Practices: Applications for the City of Asheville, NC. City of Asheville, North Carolina.

Relevant Links

2015 Nguyen, Mai Thi. April 15, 2015. Regulating AirBnB and short-term rentals. Raleigh News & Observer | Op-Ed.

2015 Nguyen, Mai Thi. March 26, 2015. A Roadmap to Regulating AirBnB and short-term rentals. Center for Urban and Regional Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill | Blogpost.

Public Radio Appearances:

2018 Public Radio Interview. WUNC. The State of Things. The Problem with AirBnB.

2016 Public Radio Interview. WNCCU. The Measure of Everyday Life.