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mongo_jones

airbnb

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I've found though that when visiting international cities, it just makes more sense (price-wise) to book a hotel.

It is very city dependent.

 

 

yeah, in london you'd have to spend a lot more to be in a decent hotel in a decent location*. and then you have to add on the price of eating breakfast and every dinner out. the latter, i guess, would be true anywhere.

 

*for a family of four, at any rate. alone i could stay in a pod hotel.

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The hotel industry is pouring a lot of money into making vacation rentals more expensive, or not available at all. Palma has recently banned them altogether (and the rest of Mallorca is on the way), other European cities have limited listings to 120 days / year and have made it easier for neighbor associations to stop tenants from renting their places out, and Paris is (somewhat justifiably because there are really a lot of bad actors there) is on its way to removing most listings. SF requires registration, fire safety inspections, etc. and charges hotel taxes... but I think Mexico takes the cake - the hotel folks have submitted lists of names of vacation rental managers to the authorities (with suitcases full of cash, I'm sure) and I've heard of some of them being detained for questioning at the airport for violating immigration laws (because if they manage vacation rentals then they're working and need a visa for that).

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But why SHOULDN'T they register, have fire safety inspections, collect hotel taxes, etc.? I mean, they're effectively running hotels.

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I'd be in favor of exempting single room hotels as well.

 

SF is happy to have people living in Victorian fire hazards without ever having their fire gear inspected or showing they know how to evacuate, and is happy to let them have house guests stay over every day, but if they want to have a paid guest then all of a sudden that becomes necessary. One of those policies that seems to be about safety but is really about lobbying groups getting their way. (or as obnoxious silicon valley would put it - the data simply doesn't support the policy)

 

eta: and of course, let's not forget that across the block from those very nice, safe, and comfortable garden units being rented out, are such marvelously safe, impeccably clean regulated lodgings as https://www.booking.com/hotel/us/el-capitan.html

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As a matter of policy, I think there's a distinction between doing something for yourself or doing it for people you know for free, and doing something commercially. People have incentives to keep their own houses safe (they LIVE in them) -- and if they don't, it's to their own detriment. Same thing when you have friends stay over. But if you rent out a place that you don't even live in, all you'd be doing is subjecting your customers to unwonted risk -- and those customers have a right as consumers, I believe, to expect safe conditions.

 

(As for hotel taxes, why should the city be deprived of needed revenue by operation of an underground economy?)

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Those expectations already apply to landlords, and yet landlords offering apartments to long term guests / tenants are not subject to the same regulation and inspection process.

 

To put this in context: https://www.gq.com/story/san-francisco-is-burning and on the other hand the number of casualties in short term rentals is... you can guess.

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I stay at Airbnbs all the time- but my stays are generally long ones (a month or more).

 

What I look for in a listing is this: Reviews, and lots of them. The first reviews are probably friends and family, so they need to go deeper than 5. If there's a scathing review, I'll check the profile of the reviewer, and find that they are stupid. Or not. A reviewer with weird expectations can be dismissed, just like yelp.

 

Also, pay attention to what is not in the pics. No pic of the kitchen- pass. No pic of the bathroom- questionable. 15 pics of the lounge and none of bedrooms? What's that about?

 

That said, I've had very few poor experiences, or rather "totally not what was represented" experiences, and many good ones- whether getting a room or an entire flat. And, of course, made some lovely friends in the process.

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