Should Boston take a ‘hard look’ at Airbnb?


A little more than a month ago, Boston’s Inspectional Services Division disclosed that it had no plans to come after Airbnb hosts any time soon. But City Councilor Sal LaMattina disagrees with that approach.

Steve Annear reports for Boston Magazine that LaMattina “wants to take a hard look at how services like Airbnb, which lets users rent out private residences to tourists and visitors for a limited duration, fall in line with Boston’s lodging rules and regulations, and whether or not they have an adverse impact on local neighborhoods or the hotel industry as a whole.”

From the report:

In a filing submitted this week, LaMattina said concerns have been raised in Boston about people offering up their abodes to complete strangers, and making beds, rooms, or entire homes available for overnight rentals through online services.

“These types of rentals have raised concerns and created problems in Boston and elsewhere when the spaces are used for loud or late-night gatherings, and when the rentals lead to unauthorized access into condominium or apartment complexes,” said LaMattina.

I spotted one such concern from a venture capitalist pop up on Twitter today:

Here’s what Adam Vaccaro of wrote today on Airbnb: reported last month that the administration of Mayor Martin Walsh was considering possible regulations on Airbnb and similar services, but told Inspectional Services Department workers not fine anybody found to be using the service in the meantime. A spokesperson told at the time that the way ISD classifies violations makes it difficult to know for sure, but said “no violations regarding ‘Airbnb’ rentals have been issued.” The Boston Globe reported last month that thousands of properties in Boston are available for rent using the service.

Universal Hub reports that the City Council plans to take up LaMattina’s proposal at its regular Wednesday meeting.

Image of an apartment party via Shutterstock.

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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