1. YOU COULD BE FINED $1,000 OR MORE OR SLEEP ON THE STREET
The biggest problem with Airbnb is hosts cancelling on you last minute. Most short-term rentals are not licensed and thus illegal. At the time of writing almost 80% of online listings were not licensed. You and the owner could be fined. And with a lot of cities cracking down on Airbnb (this is also why people cancel on you), surrendering your passport to the local authorities until you pay your $1000 fine is not the best way to start a vacation.
Because they are not licensed, they are also not regulated by the local Building & Fire Prevention department to ensure that the residential property is in compliance with the fire and safety codes for transient use. If a fire breaks out, you are on your own. There have been many instances of tragic hotel fires with massive loss of life and these codes were put in place to save lives.
Short-term rentals do not adhere to the health and human safety standards that a hotel or motel would follow. Like controlling the spread of communicable disease and maintaining safety and sanitary conditions. The biggest Airbnb complaints are extreme bug infestations, unsafe amenities, dangerous animals and the presence of illegal drugs.
Short-term rentals disrupt the quality of life in local residential neighborhoods. They essentially destroy what you are looking to find on a vacation “local culture”. And that is why cities are so concerned about the Airbnb. Most owners are absentee landlords, leaving you to fend for yourself.
Taxes that licensed hotels pay, ultimately benefit the entire community. In particular when it comes to personal safety for you, the traveler. Airbnb’s are prone to break-in’s and theft and because of the transient nature of guests, the neighborhood has no vested interest in helping you or keeping you safe. You could end up staying with a convicted felon, a registered sex offender, a thief, or a conniving scam artist. There is a reason why hotels developed electronic keys for elevator access, security cameras and 24-hour staffed front