Oxford Airbnb owners get additional revenue, but will soon face new taxes – Oxford Observer

When the University of Miami hosts an event like Family Weekend, Oxford’s relatively few hotels fill up quickly. In turn, local residents become hospitality entrepreneurs and rent their homes through Airbnb for additional income.

Alison and Joe Kleibscheidel are one of the many couples to rent their homes this weekend. The couple graduated from Miami in 2007 and have never left Oxford. After having five children, moving to a bigger house, and her husband Joe enrolling in college, they decided to start hosting on Airbnb five years ago.

“It’s unique, isn’t it?” Alison said, “If you were somewhere else like Cincinnati, there wouldn’t be such a high demand. [But Oxford is] such a small town, and there aren’t many hotels.

Airbnb is a San Francisco-based online marketing service that lists short-term rental accommodation primarily used for vacations and tourism events. Landlords such as Kleibschedels often live in the properties when they are not rented. When tenants arrive, they either move into temporary accommodation or stay in the owners’ apartment on the property.

The Airbnb booking site currently lists 119 accommodations in or near Oxford. Some properties are in the city itself, while others are as far away as Hamilton. Single rooms can cost as little as $ 35 per night, while entire homes can range from $ 100 to $ 1,500 per night.

The Kleibscheidels only rent their house for about 15 nights a year, mainly during the weekends of major Miami events like “Family Weekend”, Homecoming and Graduation Weekend. When they have a tenant, the family leaves the house and goes to visit relatives for the weekend, Alison said.

“I’m pretty sure we’re booked for graduation for the next couple of years,” Alison said.

A room in Alison Kleibscheidel’s house provides a comfortable welcome to Airbnb customers. Photo by Lucy Greaney

Both Kleibscheidels have other jobs, but said they rely on their rental income to pay for their five children’s school fees.

“It would be too expensive without it,” Alison said. The Kleibscheidel ask $ 1,170 per night for their house, she said.

When COVID-19 hit the scene, renting their home was no longer an option and the couple spent a year with no additional income. Alison said they need to cut spending like everyone else.

“I was actually just thinking about how it will be two years now that COVID has affected our lives,” Alison said.

Sam Hilton is another Airbnb host with properties in Oxford. When Hilton and his family moved to Reily, Ohio, near Cincinnati, he saw an opportunity in Oxford’s unique rental landscape and decided to invest.

“I saw the rates they were charging and saw that it would be worthwhile to move,” said Hilton. “I think there is definitely a shortage here in short term rentals.”

Hilton owns two rental properties in Oxford which have both been rented on Airbnb at the same time. Now he has a student rental he bought during the pandemic and an Airbnb property in the downtown area that he rents for $ 186 a night.

“We renovated a house right in the middle of town and have been benefiting from Airbnbing since July,” said Hilton.

Unlike the Kleibscheidels, Hilton rents her house 90 days a year, where possible due to a order taken by the municipal council concerning transitional rentals.

The ordinance was created after the city partnered with the Miami Farmer School of Business in 2019 to conduct short-term rental search. The results concluded that the majority of these rentals were rented for three months or less per year.

According to town planner Zachary Moore, the 90-day figure was generous enough for homeowners looking to generate additional income for part of the year. It also prevents properties in residential neighborhoods from being used commercially with frequent guest turnover.

“It seemed fair to allow a number of units in town to operate without requiring special approvals,” Moore said.

Hilton said their rental property was reserved by Miami parents until Thanksgiving weekend, but their prices may soon increase due to the introduction of a new tax from January 1, 2022.

In addition to the 90-day restriction, city council also adopted an ordinance include Airbnb rental properties in the city’s 6% lodging tax that is currently paid by hotels.

“I don’t think this will change my expansion plans, but I might go for more student rentals during the school year and to use Airbnb during the summer,” said Hilton.

Alison Kleibscheidel’s kitchen is ready for Airbnb weekend tenants to move in and take over. Photo by Lucy Greaney

Accommodation tax allocates 3% to Enjoy Oxford, a non-profit tourism organization, and 3% to the city’s Housing Trust Fund. While Hilton will not change her expansion plans, Alison Kleibscheidel said she was frustrated with the tax.

“I don’t think the city has the right to take income from people who do this a few times a year,” she said. “It’s not a rental property, it’s our home.”

Enjoy Oxford executive director Kim Daggy said that since the new tax is so new and will not come into effect until January, the organization has yet to start thinking about the how it will allocate its funds from the new ordinance.

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