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Here are the concerns neighbors have about short-term rentals


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Renting out a place you own for short-term travelers on Airbnb, Vacasa, Vrbo, HomeAway or other online platforms can be a great way to generate extra income, but owners and renters should be aware of the negative perceptions and concerns they may encounter from their next door neighbors.

A recent survey of nearly 1,000 people across the country by home services marketplace platform Porch outlines some of the common issues neighbors have with short-term rentals next door.

Topping the list of concerns was safety: 50 percent of respondents said that they would feel less safe if their next door neighbor began hosting short-term renters.

Another finding is that 40 percent thought their home values would decrease if their closest neighbors turned to short-term renting, compared to 47.8 percent who thought there would be no change in their home value, and just 12 .2 percent who thought that having short-term rentals next door would increase their home values.

In reality, having Airbnb rentals nearby specifically actually increases both rent and home sale prices (specifically, a 10 percent increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.42 percent increase in rents and a 0.76 percent increase in house prices) according to a separate 2017 study.

But Porch’s new survey from 2019 shows that there appears to be some specific concerns that respondents have about short-term rentals in their neighborhood. Overall, only 47.6 percent of those who used online short-term platforms themselves approve of short-term rentals in their own neighborhood. Out of those who haven’t used such services, only 22.4 percent approve having them nearby.

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Courtesy of Porch.

“Home rentals can also come with other fears, such as decreasing property values or acquiring less friendly neighbors — but that isn’t always the case. Rhode IslandArizonaMassachusetts, and Washington, among other states, have passed laws and regulations for homeowners who choose to rent their spaces, typically for 25 to 30 days or less at a time,” reads the report.

To conduct the study, Porch asked 990 homeowners and renters across the country about their opinions and experiences with short-term rentals. Of those, 50 percent said they would feel less safe if their next-door neighbor turned to short-term renting. The most comment safety concerns include noise (49.7 percent), not knowing the lodgers (41.9 percent) and the fear of renters hosting parties (36.3 percent).

Courtesy of Porch.

Unsurprisingly, age plays a major role in residents’ openness toward short-term rentals — 77.5 percent of baby boomers and 78.9 percent of generation Xers said they would not open their homes to short-term renting. By contrast, only 64 percent of millennials said the same.

Ultimately, these fears may be overstated – nearly half of respondents couldn’t say whether there were short-term rentals happening in their neighborhood and only 17.3 percent of those who did had a negative experience.

Courtesy of Porch.

But above all, distrust of short-term rentals often comes down to unfamiliarity — among those who know their next-door neighbor were over three times more likely to approve nearby short-term lodgers. People who have used or had personal experiences with short-term rental also tended to worry about the safety and home value decreases related to them much less.

“Negative associations with neighborhood rentals dropped when respondents reported personal experiences with them in their own neighborhood,” reads the report.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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Correction: This article was updated after publication to change an incorrect headline and wording in the body copy that erroneously said most respondents were concerned about losing home value to short-term rentals next door. We apologize for the errors. 

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