In a recent editorial, the Advocate argued that Airbnb hosts should be regulated. Why? The editorial argues because similar entities like hotels and bed and breakfasts are.
It’s precisely because Airbnb disrupted a market governed by outdated regulations that it has thrived providing benefits to communities, hosts, and guests in the process.
Regardless, regulating Airbnb’s should be addressed on its own merits not based upon commonalities with other entities who have stricter regulations. Has their presence resulted in additional crime? No. Have hosts provided unsafe environments for guests or put their neighbors at risk? No. Are concerns about safety and fraud addressed by existing laws? Yes. What does the borough have to gain by regulating Airbnbs? Little.
Airbnb’s platform provides the information that hosts and guests need to make informed decisions about their guests and stay alike. If either party is concerned, they can message each other for clarification or decide not to book the stay.
With limited hotel options, Airbnb is vital to our community. Elizabethtown Borough should be encouraging and supporting existing and potential Airbnb hosts by providing a free environment for them to provide this important service.