Letter: Keep government’s hands out of short-term rentals

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Buncombe Sets Goals for State Lobbyists,” Feb. 8, Xpress:]

I am concerned with the “power” that the government would have to “regulate” Airbnbs. It translates, to me, that they’re looking for another way to obtain more income from those struggling already in the service industry. Why is it so challenging to obtain ideas that would benefit the business owner, customers and then the government?

Wake up! We do not need more governing or, in actuality, dipping their hands in the pot it doesn’t belong.

— Brenda Newkirk


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11 thoughts on “Letter: Keep government’s hands out of short-term rentals

  1. R.G.

    Well, sure, I hear you (and sympathize to some degree)…as long as you don’t also simultaneously complain about low wages, environmentally destructive developments and lack of affordable housing.

  2. NFB

    “It translates, to me, that they’re looking for another way to obtain more income from those struggling already in the service industry. ”

    Many, many, of those who are struggling in the service industry are struggling because they face both eviction and higher housing costs because short term rentals are replacing the long term rentals they have been living in.

  3. Taxpayer

    There are short term rentals all over Asheville. Many are illegal whole house rentals. Why does’n’t Asheville enforce and fine? Until they do, they need to shut up about affordable housing while they allow the problem to grow.

    • NFB

      Report them.

      STRs are difficult to find unless they are reported because AirBNB intentionally hides the address until AFTER the client has paid and few, if any, owners for STRS post a photo of the outside of the house as that will make them easier for the city to find.

      • indy499

        Surely you don’t buy the city’s “it’s hard” silliness. You and I could sit down and identify the majority of STRs within an afternoon using public data.

        • R.G.

          And surely there’s an even easier way to find them since they pay a room tax to our own TDA that continually advertises to exacerbate the situation? How does the TDA not know where they are?

  4. Karen Kirschbaum

    My understanding of this issue is that a big majority of the THOUSAND plus houses operating as short term rentals are not owned locally, but by big investment firms. My recommendation would be to limit the short term rental properties should be limited to local owners only. Maybe limit the number of properties as well. This would open up the rental market to local long term renters. Asheville is not alone in this. Progressive Radio show host Thom Hartmann has talked about this many times as a national problem and also says there is a lot of foreign money in this. Take our community back

    • indy499

      You may well be right, but how did you develop that “understanding”? Got any data?

  5. Zodwa

    The current City policy of allowing home stays with a one time permit works just fine. Zero whole house short term rentals, although many, many were grandfathered in. Only issue is it is not enforced with much vigor, so many get away with it anyway. Buncombe County should adopt the same policy but Raleigh will never let that happen. The earn too much revenue from the AirBNB lobbyists and their pals.

  6. avlsouth

    Personally I am not against home stays where people need a little extra income and reside in the home while visitors are there. What I cannot stand are whole house rentals, especially owned by out of towners and in residential areas. I personally do not want to live next door to one, as I believe most people would not. A constant flow of people on vacation and who do not care about the community. The city does allow whole house rentals that are a minimum of 30 days. These visitors tend to have a different mind set.

  7. MV

    I need to be able to rent my place short-term so I can save money to move away!

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