Across the country, there is a growing concern that some short-term rental companies, such as Airbnb, HomeAway and Flipkey, are enabling the proliferation of “illegal hotels,” where commercial operators list multiple units in the same metropolitan area or list units for extended periods of time without adhering to commonsense regulations or tax obligations. Indeed, in many major urban areas and vacation destinations, these commercial operators or investors are buying rental properties with no intention of living there, but solely for the purpose of renting them out to short-term visitors, just like a hotel.

This unregulated commercial activity often compromises consumer safety, undermines job growth, increases housing costs while limiting affordable housing options, and endangers the character and security of residential neighborhoods.


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CBRE Study

AHLA Position

AHLA believes that there should be a level and legal playing field within the lodging sector, and that regulations and taxes with respect to short-term rentals should be strictly enforced. We support the rights of property owners to occasionally rent out a room or their home, but commercial operators within the short-term rental industry should not be allowed to operate outside of the law.

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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Issue Updates

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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