End Illegal Hotels In The Nation’s Capital

Today, AirbnbWATCH launched a major, multi-platform advertising campaign to shine a spotlight on the negative impact of Airbnb’s commercial operators running illegal hotels in Washington, D.C., and urge Council of the District of Columbia to pass legislation to stop this harmful practice now.

The time has arrived to come together and educate neighbors and small business owners concerning this escalating problem which is damaging our communities

We believe private homeowners should be able to participate in the sharing economy – true home sharing is not our concern.  However, major real estate investors, many from as far away as San Francisco, exploit loopholes in the law and run de facto hotels in residential units. In fact, a large and growing portion of Airbnb’s revenue comes from these commercial operators.

According to a recent study, true home sharing, where the owner is present during the guest’s stay, accounts for only 23% of Airbnb’s business in D.C. 77% of Airbnb’s revenue in DC – $81 million out of a total of $105 million – comes from whole-unit rentals where the owner is not present. Furthermore, nearly 30 percent of Airbnb’s total revenue in DC is being generated by multi-unit operators who rent out two or more entire home units. Among those multi-unit hosts, 24 percent of revenue in DC is derived from hosts who operate 20-plus entire units. This is the fastest growing segment of Airbnb’s business. The revenue derived from these multi-unit, entire-home hosts rose 134% last year alone.

These illegal hotel operators hurt both neighborhoods and the traveling public by pricing out residents who want to rent, welcoming a revolving door of strangers and flouting common sense zoning rules.

It’s no wonder that an overwhelming majority of American adults across the country are calling for sensible short-term rental rules in communities.

We hope that any Washington, D.C. residents whose neighborhoods are being infiltrated by commercial operators exploiting legal loopholes will urge their council members to pass legislation to stop the proliferation of illegal hotels in the District, the Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act of 2017 as soon as possible.

With your help, we can end illegal hotels in the nation’s capital.