relevant, concise - Back Bay Association

The Home-Sharing Industry in Boston
COMMUNITY FEEDBACK SESSION on the Home-Sharing Industry
1. Brief background on the home-sharing industry
2. Public comment on the home-sharing industry
The goal of this meeting
• The City of Boston has been contacted by various homesharing industry stakeholders and neighborhood
• In response, we’ve been gathering information about the
home-sharing industry
• This meeting is part of our effort to hear from all interested
parties before we determine the role the City may play with
this industry
What is home-sharing?
• Home-sharing is most commonly defined as property rentals
fewer than 30 days in length
• Increasingly these are facilitated through internet-based
platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and FlipKey
• Facilitating platforms provide an interface similar to online
hotel reservations, but the lodging is provided by individuals,
rather than hotels
How big is home-sharing?
• In the past 5 years, facilitating platforms have increased the
ease of offering and securing home-sharing arrangements,
driving a proliferation of short-term rentals within Boston
• As of August, 2014:
– Boston had ~2,000 home-sharing listings
– Boston listed units from ~1,200 hosts
– ~40,000 visitors used home-sharing options in Boston per
– ~80% of hosts rented out their primary residence
Where is home-sharing happening?
• As Airbnb’s data shows, there are listings throughout Boston,
but they are most prevalent in the downtown core:
What are other cities doing domestically?
New York,
Taxed Scheme
Allowed by any Portland resident in a single family home,
apartment, or condo
Requires hosting resident to have a City permit, which
requires landlord notification
Does not allow more than 25% of units in one building to be
short-term-rental permitted
Hosts paying an
11.5% tax (6% city
lodging and 5.5%
Allowed by any SF resident
Requires all hosts to register with the City
Limits the rental of entire homes to 90 days per year; allows
shared spaces, ie, part of a home, to be shared 365 days per
Requires each listing to carry $500,000 in liability insurance
Establishes guidelines for enforcement by the Planning
Taxed as hotels
Allowed for those who live in a 1 or 2 family home
If dwelling is a multiple home building (3+ families), then only
allowed if listing is a shared space
Not allowed in rent-stabilized units
Not currently taxed
What are other cities doing internationally?
Taxed Scheme
Allowed only by those registered by the City as a primary resident
in the particular abode (host is registered as living at address)
Allowed up to 60 days per year, before the host is eligible for
investigation; allows up to 4 guests at a time
Homes must meet all fire and safety rules
Authorities may restrict home-sharing based on prior poor
Violators risk fines, a bill for back-taxes, or the loss of their home
All applicable
taxes – income
and tourist –
must be paid
Allowed in primary residences; host must live there at least 8
months per year
No authorization or registration required
If in secondary and other residences, subject to local law
Tourist taxes
are due;
platforms can
remit taxes on
behalf of hosts
People who occasionally host do not need permission /
registration if:
• 50% of host’s property is rented 100% of the time or;
• 100% of host’s property is rented 50% of the time
Beyond 50% limits, host needs a permit
Tourist taxes
are due (unless
guest is staying
for business
We want to hear from you
• To help us hear from all stakeholders:
– Please keep comments relevant, concise (~90 seconds), and
– Two microphones – one for comments in favor of homesharing, one for comments against. We will alternate speakers
– If you are neither for nor against, please go to either
Comments in favor of home-sharing
Comments opposed to home-sharing
Additional comments?
Contact Eleanor Joseph at [email protected] or (617) 635-4459

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