Is your Margate, Atlantic City, Brigantine or Downbeach home right next to a busy AirBnB rental? A growing number of homeowners are saying YES. Many don’t like that one bit, especially where safety, civility and financial fairness are concerned.
Story from DownbeachBUZZ archives. July 2017
Can the Jersey shore take advantage of short-term home rental websites like AirBnB?
Under a proposed bill being considered, any NJ homeowner offering short-term rentals with AirBnB, must register with their municipality, or face a stiff fine of $100 a day.
Some home-owners, especially in Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor and Margate, are increasingly agitated by AirBnB rentals.
Investing in a 2nd home along the Jersey shore can be risky. Have a AirBnB property close by? Ugh. It could be like living next to a motel.
Many Internet-based conveniences like UBER for cab service and AirBnB for short-term home & apartment rentals, are flourishing. But these tools can create unfair and potentially unsafe situations. UBER & AirBnB don’t follow the same rules that traditional services adhere to.
LISTEN> Atlantic City Councilman Jesse Kurtz Talks Pros and Cons of AirBnB.
Brigantine Councilman Vince Sera is taking heat from Atlantic County taxpayers.
Vince Sera, a Councilman in Brigantine is against stricter & safer AirBnB laws. Oddly, he’s opposed to updating rental rules that would ensure public safety and financial fairness.
Brigantine Councilman Sera called into WOND Radio. Sera, a former lifeguard, has fought against a bill that encourages municipalities like Brigantine, Margate and Ventnor to monitor and enforce rental compliance.
Sera says Brigantine doesn’t want to be financially burdened by hiring someone to check for these illegal, potentially unsafe, short-term rentals.
According to NJ1015.com, Joe Simonetta, a lobbyist for the New Jersey Hotel & Lodging Association, said the tourism industry supports home-sharing sites but that “the Uber of property rentals” needs regulation.
“People are renting these places for a night or two nights and then putting a party invite online. Next thing you know the neighborhood is inundated with a hundred, 150 cars,” Simonetta said.
AirBnB has been plagued by criticism and litigation from hotel groups, property owners, residents and governing bodies.
Brigantine, Ventnor & Margate homeowners like extra cash by selling directly to vacationers.
Is AirBnB trustworthy and safe? There’s certainly a fair amount of risk when letting strangers into your house. This issue is not very good for the neighbors either.
AirBnB takes a 6-12% guest service fee PLUS a 3% host service fee for each transaction. They still place most of the burden of complying with the law, with the homeowner.
Feedback from Ventnor’s John Battista: Owning a legal B&B in the area, we certainly see the value of Airbnb, and the benefits of offering more choice to more people. They are a great way to help fill peak season needs and to help some locals earn a few extra bucks. The negatives from our perspective, are a few.
First, unlike other OTA type booking sites, Airbnb does nothing to indicate or make aware the tax which should be paid on transient room rentals: 6.875% sales tax and 5% occupancy tax. This is something legally registered properties must pay and it gives an unfair advantage to Airbnb. It also is taking large amounts of tax dollars away from the state and marketing efforts for the hospitality industry.
Second are safety concerns. There are reasons why hotels and legal b&b’s must have properly working fire exits, lighting, alarms, and signage. For a homeowner who lives in their house, if there was an emergency they will know the property and were the exits are. For a visitor who does not know the property they will have problems with could lead to injury or death.
Lastly, towns have zoning and specific areas where this type of traffic is allowed. It gives neighbors a chance to know what they are in for if they buy in certain areas, or to voice concerns if a new business wants to open in a more traditional residential area.
So I am all for Airbnb succeeding and for homeowners to be able to rent extra rooms. Its good for everyone, but it should be done on an even and fair playing field and should take guest safety into account. Right now this is not the case.