Airbnb was the brainchild of two college flatmates who created their brand after renting out their spare bedroom in San Francisco. Airbnb was originally created for homeowners to make some extra cash by renting out spare rooms or their entire house while they were away on holiday but Airbnb has grown so exponentially that entire neighbourhoods are turning into Airbnb zones, and the results are not pretty.
Airbnb’s Nasty Side Effects
While Airbnb can be a great way to earn a side income, it is only good news for the homeowners who are able to do so. Short term rentals are often more lucrative, but this pushes the rental prices up in certain areas so much that locals can no longer afford to rent in these areas long term.
Furthermore, permanent residents in neighbourhoods that are becoming infiltrated with Airbnbs no longer have a close-knit neighbourly environment but rather a neighbourhood filled with many comings and goings of strangers that often cause havoc. It’s a known fact that holidaymakers like to party so weekday nights in once quiet, family neighbourhoods have become a headache for residents as they have to deal with Airbnb guests drinking, smoking and playing loud music into all hours of the morning.
The Future Of Airbnb
Airbnb has seen exponential growth and if it continues the effects for residents could be devastating. There a few cities who have imposed new short-term and subletting laws to protect residents. For example, New York has implemented a law that no more than 3 apartments per building can rent for periods shorter than 30 days. In San Francisco, the home of Airbnb, hosts have to register with authorities before being allowed to operate.
But in cities like Cape Town, where there are municipal laws, they are not always governed properly and there are hundreds of suspected ‘illegal’ Airbnb. And Airbnb certainly doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. 2017 was a record year for the company and they have recently introduced a new policy that makes it even easier to book online! Instead of guests paying 100% upfront, they now need only pay 50% at the time of the booking and another 50% closer to their arrival.