The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01051

Submission Number:
01051
Commenter:
Charlotte Drummond
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am a soon-to-retire (I hope:) bookkeeper who has been renting my small 2-BR home for ?5 years to guests on some weekends. I have a business license for this activity and remit local lodging taxes to the City of Charlottesville. On those occasional rental weekends, I vacate my home and stay with a nearby friend. To create a spotless, welcoming guest home for visitors takes a lot of effort (about 6 hour of prep) and it won't make me rich. But the extra income helps with my mortgage, extra insurance, and real estate taxes. The number of visitors discovering my town as a destination is rising and short-term rental (STR) hosts are all doing a little part to carry the load. Fewer massive hotels standing empty most of the year is a good thing, we think. It's clear that the tourism market spreads itself as desired among hotels, BandBs, and STRs. There is no one-size-fits-all. Many have no desire to share a breakfast table with strangers at a BandB while others simply love to meet new people over coffee. Some people love the anonymity of hotels while others will always choose the home-like setting of a STR whenver possible. With any extra income I do receive each year, I try to make one small improvement to my home. I've fixed up my porch, kitchen, and bathroom this way. Contractors get some of my receipts, guests seem to be happy about it and it's nice for me, too. I believe that market forces are managing most of the issues around STRs and federal and local ordinances should merely level the playing field with business licenses and lodging taxes. A few bad apples in the market can be managed with existed noise and nuisance ordinances.? Thank you, Charlotte Drummond [REDACTED]