The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00807

Submission Number:
Laura Parker
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I would like to submit for public comment regarding home share rentals, on such sites as airbnb. These are important for the community and the property owner. I am in a very small rural community of Greensboro, GA; mostly Agricultural, mostly lower and middle class residents in the downtown area, population 1500. A few years ago my aging and ill father needed help on his farm. I began coming on weekends. There was an unrestored early 1800's Railroad Station Masters Cottage on the property. I began work on it so that I could stay in it and we would both have some independence. Within 2 years he passed on; and I was faced with what to do with the farm. I was told by realtors that it's value was not close to the mortgage and that it was not in a desirable location for development. So since Greensboro had no Inn or hotel in the downtown area, we are in an area of National Forest, lakes, wildlife, and natural beauty and within and hour and a half from Atlanta. I though perhaps I could rent the little 1 bedroom cottage for a restful weekend for refugees from the city, family members needing to come to Greensboro to visit or tend to aging parents, etc. It is by no means booked up. But it has become a community point of interest for Railroad and History buffs to come and hear the History of the Architecture and the Railroad, and it's effects on our Agricultural community. I have even had 2 weddings there, and have opened a part time retail space in an old Railroad barn next to the cottage, that has also now been restored. So in this case, in our small town that has been loosing business and population. I have created the part time rental, bringing in visitors to spend money at other area businesses, restored 2 Historic structures, and created a small retail business. I know of at least two new residents, that rented from me, and they have now bought property here in Greensboro. Part time rentals of personal property are also very important to and aging and retiring population. It enables them to be able to stay in their home (own)and maintain it for longer, remain social, and productive. Where without these rentals; the escalating taxes and fees would surely cause most to be unable to do so. These small rentals do not compete with the Hospitality Industry, as their huge lobby would have you to believe. Our rentals are good for the community, and the individuals, both owner and guest. Our incomes from the rentals go directly back into the property, and the community in productivity and activity. Unlike our corporate Hospitality, where the incomes go out of the community to the share holders and corporate headquarters, located elsewhere. Thanks for your consideration. Laura Parker