Airbnb to get a closer look from the Boston City Council


After settling its dispute with parking app Haystack, the Boston City Council will now start to look into “for-profit lodging in personal residences.” In particular, the council will hold a hearing to decide if more regulation needs to be put into place for companies like Airbnb, Boston-based FlipKey, HomeAway, and others.

The proposal was put forward by Councilor Salvatore LaMattina who said that he has started to receive complaints from his constituents about random people coming in and out of their buildings, parking issues, and trash, all stemming from tenants leasing their private homes and apartments through Airbnb, Craigslist, and other sites.

LaMattina added that these shorter term rentals are “a zoning issue,” and that the city has zoning issue in place for a reason.

LaMattina said that the hearing should include companies like Airbnb, TripAdvisor-owned FlipKey, HomeAway, and others — and also include Boston’s police and fire departments.

Councilor Matt O’Malley said he’s had a positive experience using Airbnb himself, but also said that he lives in a condo building and understands the concerns of neighbors in regard to Airbnb and the like. He said the hearing should be a good chance for the council to get answers to some questions and issues surrounding rental apps.

Earlier in the meeting, O’Malley made sure to distinguish between Airbnb’s method (rental and use of private property) versus Haystack’s approach of selling access to public property.

Image of an apartment party via Shutterstock.

Dennis Keohane was a Senior Staff Writer for BetaBoston.
Follow Dennis on Twitter - Google+