It's 4 a.m. just off Venice Beach and the house next door has been playing rave music for the fourth night in a row. Not very neighborly of them, but, the truth is they are not my neighbors. They are a bunch of students from Chicago here for the week. The house was rented on AirBnb and so tomorrow they will go home, and next week a fresh set of occupants from somewhere will invade and bring their party to Venice.
I like Airbnb, I use it a lot when I travel. I like to stay away from hotels and enjoy the idea of choosing my location and my rates. Every time I have stayed somewhere it has been great and truly better than some overly expensive hotel with an extra $50 overnight parking fee, bland continental breakfast and bad wi-fi service.
Every Good Idea Has a Downside.
Airbnb has its perks but it also has its other side. Some areas like mine become a haven for Spring Breakers and partiers with little respect for the residents. Some of the property owners forget to pay the taxes on this income, and some travelers can ruin a home or steal property.
I should call the cops because this is ridiculous, but they have been next door several times this week and the owner of the property is in Florida with his wife. He is a great guy so I know I can’t blame him. He has lots going on. This is helping him make ends meet after he was laid off from a movie studio where he had worked for 25 years.
Hotels are up in arms with the success that Airbnb is having. Every Roadway Inn owner or Motel 6 is seeing their clients choose clean rooms and more home friendly environment. Now, not all Roadway Inns or Motel 6s are dirty, I just stayed at a few that were less than hygienic. One Roadway Inn in Atlantic City, I remember, as I did not sit or lay on the bed or broken chair, I literally stood in the room for overnight until my bus came.
Whats All the Fuss Over?
On Tuesday, Malibu has imposed restrictions on Airbnb rentals by making the owners pay taxes and gathering information on these guest residences advertisng on Craiglist, Airbnb and others. San Franciso has already done this and the trends will continue. This will not hamper Airbnb but will bring about sense of responsibility to the owners to ensure they don’t leave their neighbors dealing with loud obnoxious and sometimes downright ignorant renters
New York and Chicago are next, as each city and community grabble with collecting taxes and keeping these short-term guest houses from becoming community party homes with a constant year-round cycle of new faces, new loud music, new license plates. The problem is this: Hotels are generally not on your block. The late-night pool parties or the drunken arguments don’t affect us. This is a community, we have the right to a good night's sleep. We have the right to feel safe and we have the right to our privacy. We don’t envy the tourists, we want them to see the area, enjoy the beach, Abbot Kinney and Santa Monica area, but in return, can we have some respect? This is our neighborhood 365 days a year. If we didn’t love it and want it to stay beautiful we would probably not have lived here. I promise when I am in your neck of the woods I will in turn respect your community.
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