Collierville’s roommate ban will not last
Let’s be realistic about this. What Airbnb operators like Terri Denison are doing is nothing new.
People have been renting rooms outside of their homes to travelers for ages. This was especially true in the days of Jim Crow, when South African Americans listed their homes in The Green Book, at a time when no white-owned hotel catered for black travelers.
It’s just that now Airbnb and HomeAway, like other disruptive innovations like Uber and Lyft, have provided a conglomerate structure for something that was once informal. Because of this, not many people noticed it.
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But now Airbnb’s formal structure is catching people’s attention. And in the idyllic Collierville, it gave rise to new fears; fears that Airbnbs will disrupt traffic and the tranquility of the neighborhood by attracting customers who might otherwise stay in hotels.
It was therefore not surprising that the Collierville mayor’s council and aldermen voted to limit landowners to renting homes for less than 30 consecutive days – a move that bans almost all Airbnbs like the one operated by Denison.
“It’s something new to them [the board]”Denison said.” But our guests are carefully vetted, and when they come here, they come for a specific purpose… they come to work, to visit, and then they leave…
“People stayed with us and actually moved to Collierville. Another family moved to Cordoba… ”
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Yet the success and relative peace of the Collierville Airbnbs does not mean that the concerns of the board are unnecessary.
It is possible that some absent hosts could rent to rowdy and destructive guests, which could drive down the value of nearby properties. On top of that, hotels probably aren’t thrilled about having to compete with people who don’t pay the same taxes as them.
But give it a little time.
Once a way is found to regulate Airbnbs to deal with these issues, home hosting businesses will be a thing in Collierville – because the once informal ‘sharing’ economy is now part of the economy. formal, said Nat Irvin II, futurist and Woodrow M. Strickler Executive in Residence, professor of management practice, College of Business at the University of Louisville.
“This [room leasing] It’s been going on forever, but having people do it a few times a year meant it wasn’t a threat, ”Irvin said. “But now it’s a permanent business – and what happens over time is that in a capitalist system people will find ways to tax and regulate it. “
This is currently happening, for example with Uber, the carpooling app. Many states and municipalities have started taxing and regulating the service to make up for lost revenue from the taxi industry, which is losing customers to Uber.
“This is what will ultimately happen with services like Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft,” Irvin said. “They will find ways to change their business to exist within the system, and we find ways to help them work within the system. “
Some of what Irvin described was already apparent at the Collierville meeting on short-term rentals.
Susan Gyura, who also operates an Airbnb, told the board that regulating rentals would be better for the community than banning them – and some aldermen have indicated they’re willing to consider that.
This makes sense, as many of the concerns some residents have about rentals could possibly be easily resolved.
If an owner is consistently absent and regularly welcomes unruly guests, for example, that owner’s Airbnb could be closed. Or if crowds become an issue, limits can be placed on the number of guests.
There are ways to make short term rentals work – and I suspect that in the end, Collierville will find a way to do it. Because just as the old sharing economy was about saving and improvising, so is the new one.
And one way or another, Americans still find a way to do both of these things.