Since 2008 Airbnb has been the go to online source for short term rentals of apartments, rooms, and other special accommodations. Airbnb acts as a liaison between travelers and home owners who would like to open their spaces for short term leasing. What everyone should know about Airbnb is that the online company does not actually own or directly rent the spaces provided on the site, they simply serve as a platform for homeowners and hosts to present their homes to people looking for a place to stay, while collecting a service fee to maintain the business. Airbnb has grown massively over the years, now serving over 190 countries around the world.
Many digital brands offering alternative travel and housing solutions have ran into issues dealing with city regulations. Brands like Uber, Grab, and some food delivery services have had to adjust their services to fit city requirements. Uber suffered heavy loses when legislation passed laws for severe fines for ride sharing initiatives. The uproar against Uber is similar to the issue Airbnb is having in Taiwan. Taxi companies and local organizations feared that the easily accessible digital option would lead them to lose momentum and ultimately obliterate their business. Despite the debate against Uber, like Airbnb, the app has offered an affordable and convenient solution for customers and for Uber drivers.
The issues are the same for Airbnb. Serving over 65,000 cities around the world, Airbnb is constantly challenged with dealing with ever changing city laws that regulate how businesses operate. Both hosts, and travel guest love Airbnb because it’s a great way to generate extra revenue, and it’s excellent for finding accomodations below hotel and resort rates. Each individual city regulation differs from the next. People argue that Airbnb poses a huge threat to massive housing corporations, hotel groups, and residential property owners and landlords. Big businesses and corporations have banned together posing risks of lawsuits and other legal action. Despite the backlash and challenges, Airbnb continues to supply affordable accommodations for travelers, and a source of income to homeowners. The risk of using Airbnb is less for the traveler/customer, but more for the property owner who opts to use Airbnb. With this in mind, its recommended that Airbnb hosts are aware of the rules, regulations and guidelines for short term rentals in their city. Here are some tips for when you are registering as an Airbnb host.
6 Tips for Registering as a Host With Airbnb
- Do your Research: Take a few moments to run a Google search about Airbnb in your city. Besides just avoiding fines, you want to be properly equipped with all of the required paperwork for your particular city. Prior to deeming your property as open for short term rental, make sure you are fully prepared behind the scenes.
- Know Your Rights: Laws regarding Airbnb and short term rentals differ from city to city. Participants could face fines or legal action if they are not aware of the rights for short term rentals in their city. Prepare ahead and avoid issues and loss of income.
- Pay Your Dues: Some cities and countries may require you to report all passive income for the year. Your Airbnb profit could fall under this category and you may be held accountable for any unpaid taxes and fees.
- Get Insured: When you list your home or space as a short term rental on Airbnb you want to be sure that you are equipped with property insurance in case of an emergency, or in the instance of theft or misconduct in your home. Cover your tracks with an insurance policy that will alleviate you of liability in such situations.
- Review Your Lease or Ownership Regulations: Airbnb requires users to have the full rights to rent their space. If any issues arise between the host and a landlord or homeowner, Airbnb is not at fault and the host may face penalties. Such issues do not directly affect Airbnb legally, but it is the root of many complaints and debates against Airbnb.
- Check Your Home: Be sure your home is in tip-top shape when accepting short term rental guests. An untidy or unsafe home could jeopardise your opportunity to continue as an airbnb host. It could also jeopardise the integrity of the Airbnb brand, and cause more opportunity for questions and complaints from government entities.
Tips for Airbnb Guests
There are many reasons why travelers opt to use Airbnb as a service across Asia and across the world. Airbnb’s success and growth has changed the face of short term leasing globally. Just as homeowners and hosts should prepare before listing their homes, guests should be aware of how they can positively affect the future of Airbnb in places like Taiwan. Here are things to consider when opting to become an Airbnb guest.
- Read the Details: On every Airbnb listing, hosts are required to include details on the short term rental. The details usually include a description of the property, amenities, house rules, and other things to know. It’s important to review all of the details of the property to avoid issues with the host and the Airbnb team
- Review House Rules: Irate neighbors and nearby small businesses have been some of the cause behind the Airbnb debate in Taiwan. Be aware of the house rules and avoid run in with angry neighbors due to loud music or some other issue that could have been avoided if house rules were followed.
- Check the Neighborhood: For safety and privacy reasons, Airbnb does not disclose the address of the listing until after booking has been confirmed. Instead, the platform provides you with a map view of the nearby area. Be sure to run a check on the neighborhood location before you confirm.
- Leave A Review: Positive feedback is a great way to add to Airbnb’s argument against the platforms doubters. Be sure to leave a review detailing your experience, it’s also very helpful to future guests.
Airbnb & Short Term Rentals In Taiwan
Short term rental opportunities are becoming more and more popular as the digital culture grows around the world. Digital nomads search Airbnb for places to stay as they travel the world and work. Airbnb offers rentals as early as the day of booking. The Airbnb site allows for users to customize their search to find the perfect space to match all of their travel needs. Despite the rapid growth of demand for short term rentals, short term rental associations and homeowners opting to rent their homes are still struggling to fight city and state regulations world wide.
Taiwan isn’t the only area challenged with issues clearing short term rental policies. Countries like Germany, Australia, and parts of the United States have dealt with backlash from stipulations that make short term rentals challenging in their region. Recently, Japan passed a law requiring Airbnb hosts to take additional steps to ensure that their listing was legal in the eye of the government. The regulations placed on Japan made it more difficult for hosts looking forward to share their homes, and the guests who were scheduled to travel to Japan using the Airbnb service.
The issue of Airbnb and short term rentals in Taiwan has been ongoing. Even before Airbnb hit the market, residences, home owners, and lawmakers in Taiwan have struggled with short term rental issues with the government. The issue became more prominent when the country proposed to amend the Act for the Development of Tourism posing to serve higher fines for services and homeowners who were not properly licensed to rent their spaces for short terms. Some government officials argued that Airbnb should be completely banned as a law in congress. Because of this debate, Airbnb has faced heavy scrutiny and continues to search for a peaceful and practical resolution to the issues facing short term rentals in Taiwan. Airbnb has been forced to defend its policies on safety regulations. Hotels and other large short term lodging corporations have an upper hand because they are required to pass city inspections that prove that they fit government guidelines. Because of the easy accessibility to renting with and becoming a host for Airbnb, opposers in Taiwan argue that Airbnb is not completely safe. Airbnb supporters argue that Taiwan’s regulations against Airbnb are unjustified and in some ways an invasion of privacy to homeowners who should have the right to benefit from their property investment in the way that they see fit. Airbnb has also argued that the actions of the Taiwanese government is slowing down the development of travel and tourism in this new day and age. Airbnb addressed the ongoing short term rental debate in a statement following the proposed amendment for the Act for Development of Tourism – “The amendment proposed for the Act for the Development of Tourism today clearly does not reflect the travel habits that 21st-century tourists have embraced. It could also cripple the development of Taiwan’s tourism industry.”
Many Airbnb supporters ,and users of the site, value the presence of Airbnb in Taiwan. Airbnb provides an alternative living situation for new age travelers. The service is a benefit to China’s ever growing crowding and hotel shortage issues. Airbnb is a constantly growing company that will continue to dominate the short term rental market as long as the demand remains high. Airbnb plans to continue expanding across Asia and many other countries, despite the issues they have faced with government and short term lodging organizations.
Why People Love Airbnb in Taiwan
Despite the uproar and debate against Airbnb in Taiwan, the demand for short term leasing is as high as it’s ever been. Travelers want the convenience and affordability of Airbnb in Taiwan. People continue to use the service when traveling to China and the surrounding areas of Asia. Airbnb’s growth and demand in Taiwan has increased greatly since the company’s launch one decade ago and even more so incrementally within the past three to five years. Over one million foreigners, tourists, and travelers have used Airbnb’s short term leasing service in Taiwan in the last year. Traveler’s responses to surveys posed by Airbnb show that people are in desperate hopes that all questions of the use of Airbnb in Taiwan will be answered and resolved in favor of the short term leasing platform.
The Taiwanese people are also majority in support of Airbnb in their country. Of course there are mixed responses from small business and large scale property owners, but even these citizens are open for logical legislation legalizing progressive short term rental and home sharing policies. Citizens of Taiwan realize that the travel and hospitality accommodation industry is changing in the favor of alternative digital platforms. Citizens who are struggling with low income or financial issues see the value in having the option to list their space as a short term rental as a solution to losing their home completely. The response of the people indicate the level of responsibility the Taiwan government has to securing a safe space for Airbnb and its users.
Despite the ever growing positive response of Airbnb in Taiwan, the opposing side has proposed valid concerns of property price inflation due to the decrease of long term rental availability in Taiwan. Cities like the United States have already began to see up to a 10% increase in housing prices due to short term rental policies. The idea of an economy changing all because of one digital housing option is frightening to big business and some local businesses and it’s understandable, but the demand for Airbnb in Taiwan is undeniable. Airbnb has taken actions to alleviate some of the woes caused by the platforms increasingly fast paced growth. Airbnb has taken action to identify and remove illegal listings from its platform, they have also worked with government officials to identify logical solutions to the short term rental conundrum. Airbnb representatives are looking for a middle ground with Taiwanese officials. The goal is to supply affordable options for 21st century travelers, millennials, digital nomads, and people looking for inexpensive short term housing, while also providing a source of income to people struggling to keep their homes or just looking to increase their income. Airbnb is asking Taiwan to come to terms with the fact that many of their policies are outdated. Ultimately, Airbnb feels that with proper regulation and adequate partnership and planning, they could actually become an asset to the Taiwanese tourism industry.