Airbnb

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled that a short-term rental property owned by a Portsmouth couple cannot operate in a residential zone. 

The couple was renting out the house next door, which they also owned, on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway, and advertising that it could fit up to nine people.

Sara Willa Ernst / NHPR

Marc Burrell, an Airbnb host in Laconia, describes his listing as a ‘no-frills room.’ It’s a spare bedroom in his house, which is a few blocks from downtown and a stone’s throw from Lake Winnisquam. And the room has been nearly booked solid all summer. 


Via AirBnB

People who rent out space in their homes through Airbnb may face new rules in Laconia. Last night the Laconia City Council approved short-term rental regulations for Airbnb and other home-sharing sites.

The rules would require hosts to submit an application to the city, perform safety inspections, and provide on-site parking, among other changes.

Councilor David Bownes said this is just the first step in a long process.

New Hampshire has collected $2.9 million in rooms and meals tax revenue directly from Airbnb  in the year since the state reached a deal with the vacation rental site. 

The revenue from Airbnb comprises less than 1% of rooms and meals tax collections over the same period, but they are the first under the agreement that put Airbnb - and not property owners - in charge of sending the state the 9% tax charged in rooms and meals.

According to Airbnb's Liz Debold Fusco, the new approach is serving everybody's interests.

AirBnb, an online service that allows homeowners to rent their homes out to short-term visitors, has taken off in the last few years, and has helped foster a new way of travel and lodging. We look at how AirBnb and other rental services impact our housing market, rental prices, and neighborhoods, tourism, and other lodging options.

City officials in Portsmouth have upheld a decision to prohibit a couple from renting out a second home through AirBnB.

Portsmouth couple Matthew Beebe and Barbara Jenny bought the house next door with the intention that one day their daughter will live in it.

In the meantime, they planned to rent out the house through AirBnB. But before they got the chance, the city served them with a cease-and-desist letter.

The city says the home, which is in a residentially zoned area, can’t be used for short-term rentals without a special exemption.

People who rent out their homes through AirBnb in New Hampshire will soon have less paperwork to deal with.

Lodging booked through AirBnb is subject to the state’s rooms & meals tax just like any hotel.

Up until now, anyone using AirBnB to rent out a room or other space in their home has had to do things hotel owners have to do – get a tax license, collect the right amount of tax from each rental, and then submit that to the state each month.

Worries over lost tax revenue and neighborhood complaints have state and local officials grappling with how to regulate private rentals through online platforms such as Airbnb.

Screen grab from airbnb.com

While the debate about services like Airbnb is loudest in cities such as San Francisco and New York, it's also made inroads in less urban places like New Hampshire. We look at concerns over the lack of regulation, as well as the opportunities. Then, at the end of the hour, we'll discuss Uber, another major sharing economy company growing in the Granite State.
 

GUESTS:

The 'Sharing Economy': Uber & Airbnb Come To N.H.

Feb 2, 2015
Dr sanjeevkumar SinghEr / Flickr/CC

With the rise of services like Uber and Airbnb, more folks who would normally use city-regulated taxis or hotels are now using apps to connect with strangers for a ride or a place to stay. But while this new ‘sharing’ configuration may be cheaper and more efficient, some worry about safety, fairness, and the future of work.

GUESTS: