Be Our Guest (For Less)

Online “home-sharing” apps like Airbnb and HomeAway let us stay in more interesting places for lower prices than if our only options were large, established hotels. In fact, Airbnb now offers more rooms than major hotel chains like the Hilton and Marriott! And travelers can rent some really cool places—from tree houses to castles and everything in between.

With home-sharing, visitors get to stay in a neighborhood that they might not otherwise visit and live like a local—all for less money. And on the flipside, homeowners can rent out rooms or houses to help them pay their bills. But from New York to Santa Monica, cities nationwide are making it illegal for people to share their homes. In these cities, people who use home-sharing apps could face thousands of dollars in fines or jail time!

Often, it’s the big hotel companies who urge cities to pass these laws to block the competition from Airbnb and Homeaway. But competition leads to more choices and lower prices for consumers. Government shouldn’t stop people from letting guests stay in their homes. Cities don’t ban backyard barbeques or Superbowl parties just because some might get noisy. Instead, they enforce restrictions on noise and traffic, while respecting people’s rights to use their property as they choose. Mi casa es su casa.