Most of the focus on AirBNB stems from the money lost from a lack of taxation, an estimated $15 million from around 592,000 guests in Massachusetts last year. However, while other lodging establishments need to adhere to a strict set of municipal regulations, the owner of a unit on AirBNB currently does not.
State Representative Aaron Michlewitz recently proposed a bill that would impose safety and insurance regulations on top of taxing units, stating: “The taxation without the regulation piece is where the debate stands now”.
While some municipalities are waiting to see what the state decides to do, the Cambridge City Council has already voted to impose their own regulations on AirBNB rentals. Only hosts who live in the same or adjacent building would be allowed to make their units available. These units would need to be registered with the city and concede to inspections once every five years.
This would allow owners to continue to collect income from short-term rental units while ensuring guest safety. The new restrictions will take effect in April 2018.
It’s estimated that about 90,000 guests used AirBNB to find accommodations in Cambridge last year.
A new report from RENTCafe, a real estate research site, has listed the most expensive cities to live in the United States by averaging the rents of buildings with at least fifty units.
Among the top five are two cities in the Greater Boston area: Boston and Cambridge. According to RENTCafe, Boston was number three on the list of Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents with an average rent of $3180, topped only by Manhattan, NY, at number one, and San Francisco, CA, at number two. Cambridge was number five on the list with an average rent of $2957, which was only slightly less expensive than San Mateo, CA.
Perhaps a direct result of urban areas demanding such high rent, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that urban renter household renter growth has been overtaken by suburban renter household growth in nineteen of the top twenty largest U.S. metros. Boston is number five on this list and around sixty percent of renters are in the suburbs where they can save an average of around $800 a month compared to the city.
RENTCafe expects to see an increased number of suburban construction projects in the new few years as experts are saying that the next trend in multifamily is expected to happen in the suburban apartment markets.
Rental Beast‘s coverage area in the Boston market includes Greater Boston and the surrounding suburbs, as well as the rest of Massachusetts, and the states of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.