The concept of having the ability to rent a place where hotels simply don’t exist is great though…like a cabin in the middle of nowhere. It opens up new experiences for travelers and also allows people to buy that 2nd house and rent it out when they aren’t using it.
So that’s not the issue…the issue is that people have turned this into their careers and are over-leveraging bank loans to build Airbnb empires. You’ve got some people with 5, 10, 20 properties on Airbnb and that is not only not the original intent of the service but is also hugely destructive to the housing market. Additionally Airbnb isn’t needed in many cities given an abundance of hotels so in these cases zoning really should be enforced to keep them out - with the exception of people who actually live in that home and need the supplemental income to also afford living there.
Simple fixes would be: limiting hosts to maximum 2 units on Airbnb, and a maximum of 6 months renting either each year unless they are also physically present in the house while renting it, and restricting Airbnb to non-traditional destinations (ie cabin in the woods, beach house someplace without hotels, farm house). Now of course Airbnb would never do even 1 of the above because then it would cease to exist.
So state and local governments need to be enforcing these laws, and some are. While they’re regulating short term rentals though they should also do the same for long term…because the days of a mom and pop landlord owning a few units is over. It’s now assholes over-leveraging bank loans to buy up entire blocks and institutional investors or conglomerate management companies sending money to the owners overseas. Rent increase caps, limits on how many units can be owned and by whom (no large corporations, no foreign investors), and requirements to reinvest to modernize units on a fixed schedule would significantly improve the housing situation nationwide.