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Airbnb’s design to live and work anywhere (airbnb.com)
961 points by mji on April 29, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 716 comments

Related ongoing thread:

Airbnb employees can live and work anywhere - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31199833

>Most companies don’t do this because of the mountain of complexities with taxes, payroll, and time zone availability, but I hope we can open-source a solution so other companies can offer this flexibility as well.

I think this is a genius growth play for Airbnb. Make it easier for _other_ companies to operate in a similar way so that _their_ employees can travel and live in an... Airbnb! Next, they should lobby to get US and EU to make short-term "tourism + wfh" visas more accessible so that this becomes even more popular. I think everyone wins here.

I'm not an immigration/tax lawyer and could be completely wrong but if you're from EU/US/UK/AUS etc I'm fairly sure you can work in another one of those countries for up to 90 days (and sometimes upto 183) without paying tax there or getting a work visa - as long as you're still resident and being paid in your home country under the Visa Waiver program.

I've worked in NY offices and got paid in UK (admittedly a while ago and for less than 90 days) - but can't see why working in an Airbnb would be different.

Has anyone experience of this recently?

You can visit for 90 days but what you're allowed to do is restricted to tourism and "temporary business".

The US substantial presence test is actually something like 31 days in the current year, and ~180 calculated as a weighted sum of presence over all visits in the preceeding few years. That's just to determine if you should pay tax, and note that vacations to the US contribute. Whether you can legally work in the US is another matter. I had to get a a J1 visa for a two week stay in the US because I was being paid remotely by a US organisation. So in this case I was working but paying taxes elsewhere.

Most Europeans have access to things like cross border permits e.g. Switzerland/Germany and within the EU freedom of movement means it doesn't really matter much. You just register with the City Hall or wherever in your target country.

It comes down to how honest you are. Lots of digital nomads illegally claim they're on holiday, and who's checking? I'm sure a lot of people would be happy to pay a fee for a temporary work permit though.

90 days is the number agreed upon by company lawyers. Company lawyers do not have a sense of adventure, so this is a relatively watertight figure for most countries in the world and not dependent on your honesty.

Personally I'm curious about how they have rights to even know where you are at any given time.

If you're an in-office employee, your responsibilities are (a) show up at the expected work hours (b) get your tasks done.

If you're defined as a fully remote employee, your responsibilities are (a) be online and available at the expected work hours (b) get your tasks done.

Besides that you're just an amorphous black box, a person that has been placed in the cloud, much like a website placed on Cloudflare, where the input is money and the output is work. They don't need to know where you are, and I'd say they shouldn't even have a right to know -- that would be quite stalkerish, IMO. All that's really important is that this black box gets tasks done.

You can't just legally avoid taxes by not letting your employer know. Sure, they prob won't know and you'll get away with it, but you're technically breaking the law and an employer won't knowingly condone that.

So it's not that they have a right to know where you are, it's that if they do notice and not act on it that's a legal risk to them as well since they're enabling it. (IANAL but this feels common sense.)

I wasn't saying avoid taxes -- mostly just that the "90 day" thing is nonsense, because if you're a remote employee, you're effectively just a really intelligent amoeba on the face of the Earth without a well-defined location.

Pay your taxes, but if you say 153 days in Thailand or wherever you can get a long enough tourist visa, and use a VPN to the US and get your work done, I'm not sure why anyone would, should, or even has a right to care.

Thailand has a right to care. You're earning money and not paying taxes to their roads, police, fire department, etc—all the things govt provides. When you're a true tourist, you are likely making up for this by boosting the local economy.

Usually by being someone with money and spending it on rent, food, etc. you're already making up for this.

Countries with tourist visa stay limits are usually just to make sure you have the funds to leave. In general, if you come back the next day on another flight, with the intention of continuing to stay and spend money, they'll generally have no problem with it.

The company cares because they have legal obligations as well. Just because you pay for you taxes doesn't mean the employer is in compliance. Just like the US, many employers are obligated to pay additional fee/taxes/payments such as social security etc.

Why do you think you have the right to just settle in other people's countries and ignore their laws (on taxes and other things)?

The simple answer is to do away with the notion that earning income should be taxable. Tax on the consumption side, it's easier to enforce and harder to avoid.

The problem with taxing consumption is that it's pretty regressive. Not to say that there aren't solutions, but the existing sales tax, gas tax, etc aren't it.

Taxing income is also regressive because most rich people have trust funds (and pay a flat 15% tax) or push luxury purchases under the guise of business expenses (and pay no tax).

Taxing consumption instead of investments and savings seems like it would guide society more towards saving and investment instead of short-term consumption, though, no? Personally I'd rather not have taxes at all, but if you forced me to pick on of the three I'd pick consumption every time.

how do you want to pay for roads?

Tolls. Privatize the roads.

It’s funny how anti government people tend to like socialised roads, police and military, but the socialised education and housing.

Really depends on the person. I'm for privatizing all those things. No public spending on education, housing, roads, police, or military. Minarchists tend to prefer some services while anarchists may not want any government at all, thus no government expenditures.

That would be simple if AirBnB wrote the law. But sadly, they aren’t.

Because the black box for legal purposes still presumes you are in-office. When you are remote, you are structured as working from your "home office" not anywhere.

Hm. What if my home office was a van, or a private jet?

Couldn't one just structure it as a consultancy? I mean, if I hire a consultant to do something for me, I could just pay them through PayPal or Venmo or even Ethereum and wouldn't need to know where their office is. Onus is on them to be legally able to work and pay their taxes.

That works because it’s a 1099 situation. But FICA, tax withholding and health care benefits are all tied up in your place of residence. Assuming you have a driver’s license and a voters registration, there is someplace you call home otherwise you are just a hobo

Hm. So what legal framework do "hobos" use?

Surely it's not illegal to be homeless with a lot of money and skills.

(a) Let's say you spend 1 week in each state for 50 weeks of the year. Where do you file your taxes?

(b) Let's say you spend 1 week in each of 50 countries and work for AirBNB. You have no house, and no lease on a residence. Let's say it's mutual, e.g. you want to do this, and from their perspective, it's helping them because you're dogfooding their product. How do you deal with the legal side of it?

The government generally doesn't recognize having no fixed address whatsoever. I was caught 20 miles from the nearest road once 'illegally existing' in a wilderness area in Oregon 'without a permit.' The officer of course had nowhere to take me because there was no prison or way to extract me out, we literally randomly found each other on a mountain. When I told him I had no address he literally had no way to enter that on his form. He told me it was impossible and he had to put _something_. I'm not sure what he ultimately wrote. Of course he let me go, because what the hell are you going to do someone 20 miles from the nearest road short of calling a helicopter.

Having no address makes the government's brain explode.

Look at California residency requirements. They don't care if you're out of state for most of the year. If your license is from CA, or maybe you vote there, or you opened a bank account years back in CA, they will send you a tax bill.

wrt a.

My understanding is that it's not illegal but it basically makes it impossible to get government-issued ID, file taxes (which are legally required), open a bank account, get a credit card, etc.

So as a practical matter you probably get some traveling mailbox type service--in a state with no income tax presumably.

wrt b.

You're already a citizen somewhere. You'll still need an address there. See above. Then it's up to you and, perhaps to some degree, your employer to get appropriate visas. That said, for one week stays, an Airbnb stay during which you work an unknown amount of time remotely as opposed to being a tourist seems pretty doable so long as you keep a low profile and the company is cool with it.

And your home address is going to determine your default state/local tax situation in the US. (Though above certain thresholds you may be supposed to file multiple state taxes that are reconciled with each other. This mostly comes into play with business travel which companies are tracking.)

I'm not sure when this 90-day rule was written, but I imagine it was written in a time before now with high-performance laptops, video conferencing, common jet travel, and people wanting to work 30 days here, 90 days there, 120 days over there, etc.

This should be revisited. Also I think this is a good example of the need to have expiration dates on new laws and regulations. This should be something that expires and has to be changed to reflect how people live today.

> the need to have expiration dates on new laws and regulations.

This is a terrible idea. Here in the US the ever more hyper-partisan political environment makes it hard to do _anything_, even once. The idea that our Congress critters are going to re-pass all legislation for everything every (say) 5 years is ridiculous.

Those of us who like knowing that our food is safe to eat, our cars aren't firebomb death traps waiting to explode, that planes won't fall out of the sky onto our houses that aren't going to spontaneously collapse / flood from shitty plumbing / burn down from an electrical fire will disagree that all legislation should be repealed (either directly or via repeal-by-expiration), but please - let's be honest about what the effects of an 'expiration date' on legislation would actually accomplish.

Maybe this is an indicator that we need a legal infrastructure that supports a progressive, scientific governance Rather than thumbing our noses at new approaches on behalf of defunct political parties

90 days is the standard tourist visa length for most countries, so it would be to match that.

No need to match

It needs to matchs.Otherwise you'd need a work visa.

But isn’t it illegal to work on a tourist visa anyway?

Most countries have many exceptions. A UK “tourist visa” is called a “Standard Visitor visa.”


Remote working

Visitors are permitted to undertake activities relating to their employment overseas remotely whilst they are in the UK, such as responding to emails or answering phone calls. However, you should check that the applicant’s main purpose of coming to the UK is to undertake a permitted activity, rather than specifically to work remotely from the UK. Where the applicant indicates that they intend to spend a large proportion of their time in the UK and will be doing some remote working, you should ensure that they are genuinely employed overseas and are not seeking to work in the UK.

PS: Actual rules are here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules but the general intent seems to be if your there to do something very temporary like compete in a sports tournament or do something for someone outside the UK that requires you to briefly visit the UK it’s fine.

"the applicant’s main purpose of coming to the UK is to undertake a permitted activity, rather than specifically to work remotely from the UK"

That's doesn't seem like an exception? That sounds like saying "hey, I'm going to fly to the UK and work remotely from there" is against the law.

What that paragraph says to me is "If someone comes to the UK as a visitor, and happens to do some work - responding to email and/or answering phone calls" that's ok. But actually work full time in the UK remotely, is not legal.

I believe this is the case in many countries; you can do some work like signing contracts and indeed answering emails and the phone for work purposes, but you cannot just take out the ol' laptop and write code for 90 days. Many people do because you cannot really check but it's not allowed, at least not in places I have been. Especially if you keep travelling (so 2-3 months here, 2-3 months there) then there is very little point in doing all this trouble unless you cannot stand technically doing something illegal although no-one will find out.

Anecdotal example; when I was young and naive (well, more naive than now), I went to Canada (Vancouver) to help some guys out with some software. I read up on it a bit, but not enough (naive!) so at the border I told that I was going to do a bit of sight seeing and a bit of 'work'. Wrong word; was immediately taken apart and spent 1 hour explaining that no, no not work, just a bit of light consultancy; no programming, no actual managing people etc and no money changing hands (this was all true, I just shouldn't have used the word 'work'). They let me enter and there were no further issues, but I guess most people would just say 'vacation!' even though this was allowed; it can/does add stress and you might be unlucky and be sent back.

> That doesn’t seem like an exception?

The person I was responding to asked:

>> But isn’t it illegal to work on a tourist visa anyway?

It’s clear there are many ways it’s legal to be working in the UK on a Visiter visa. That doesn’t mean it’s ok to go if your only reason to be in the Uk is to be a remote worker for 90 days.

> Most Europeans have access to things like cross border permits e.g. Switzerland/Germany and within the EU freedom of movement means it doesn't really matter much. You just register with the City Hall or wherever in your target country.

This isn't as easy as it seems, even inside the EU. There are talks going on about laws regarding what constitutes "local hiring".

Basically, the issue is that some companies hire people from Eastern Europe, and pay them EE salaries there. But those people are then physically working from Western Europe, where they are "visiting workers" (don't know the exact term). This allows the companies to, among others, 1. pay lower salaries than the local going rate and 2. avoid paying payroll taxes locally.

I don't know how this works when applied to freelancing or remote working, but, as others have said, it's probably best to ask a lawyer or two.

I don't see a problem with this if the visiting workers are there less time than it takes to be considered a tax resident, eg. you have 3 months on-site onboarding and then proceed to work remotely.

After some time you're considered a resident so it doesn't make a difference compared to a local hire ?

That's the thing, I don't think there's a clear duration after which you're automatically considered a tax resident.

The thing with these employees was that they never became local hires. So they would get their salary through their home country branch, with taxes paid over there, etc. The whole point is that these companies were trying to dance around the limits of employment law. What they were doing was technically legal, hence the will of the government to change the law.

In Poland you are a tax citizen automatically if you have been there more than 183 days[1]. The exact same 183 in Portugal[2]. It is an automatic thing so quite simple.

[1] https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/poland/individual/residence [2] https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/portugal/individual/residence

I beg to differ. Those look like the "default" rules. For the example of Poland (picked one of your two examples) it's not so simple.

The "default" rules for tax residency are superseded by a convention between the two countries, and there are a bunch of them, with many countries, on the site of the French government. There are specific conventions with Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, for example, that apply only to people living close to the border and working in the other country. If you take the train from Paris to work in Geneva, it doesn't apply.

Basically, it can be debated. It says that if you have a "permanent home" in both countries, you're a resident of the country "with which you have the most attachments". So for the hypothetical Polish worker who's "detached" in France, it could be argued that the "attachment" is to Poland, because their family is likely there, among other things. In the case of a freelance moving from country to country, who is likely unattached, this can probably be easily argued (though I'm not a lawyer).

Concerning remote-working freelance: For "independent workers", you're taxed in the country where you do business, except if you have a "fixed base" in the other country, from which you conduct your business. In that case, you're taxed in the country where the base is, but only for the part of income that is attributable to the work done from that base.

Source, in French: https://www.impots.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/media/10_conv...

Conventions directory: https://www.impots.gouv.fr/les-conventions-internationales

> "visiting workers" (don't know the exact term)

the term is 'posted workers'

I propose people start reconsidering this imposed situation that exists between the people who do the work and the government, i.e. the parasitic ruling class. And to clarify, I say that as someone who is not at all “leftist” oriented, even though it may seem so at first glance of reading that to some.

This situation we currently essentially globally have, at least in the west, is quite an abusive system that is really just the bait and switch type pivot off what most people know as slavery, into a differently structured model of the same fundamental thing, one which really just spreads the total amount of enslavement across more people rather than getting rid of it altogether.

The parasitism of the ruling class that is far more obvious through slavery, is far harder to recognize in todays world because rather than taking, for argument’s sake, ~70% of 10% of people’s labor to support and enrich the ruling class; the shift/pivot off the slavery model was to introduce taking ~40% of the labor from 90% of the population and therefore enrich and empower the ruling parasitic class even more.

It’s precisely why a certain segment of the ruling class were all for “ending slavery”, because they knew “ending it”, i.e. spreading it over most people, would be far more lucrative and profitable. Life tip: Always be extremely leery of what the ruling class is promoting, and even more so re-examine things if they start supporting what you support.

The point is, we need to all start coming to a realization that the income tax and the whole tax system of fractional slavery enforcement needs to end. I do not claim to know the right answer, but I and any other rational and sane person know that this bait and switch slavery that exists needs to stop. What else do you call it, e.g. when hedge fund managers make billions per year and pay next to zero taxes, but some middle class person has huge sums of the value of their labor taken/ stolen to supply the hedge fund manager’s lifestyle?

Some have proposed things like the Fairfax.org, essentially a consumption tax through sales tax that captures taxes on illegal/harmful activities and ill begotten wealth, e.g., drug dealers buying their flashy things, while at the same time also taxing polluting activities in a direct correlation, e.g., buying new shiny-object over keeping something maintained and repaired. This would be a radical and arguably positive impact for all of humanity … except the parasitic ruling class which very much likes and has been working hard to expand its parasitism. See currency inflation at the press of a button for reference, which defrauds workers and savers through the worst tax, fraud.

> that exists between the people who do the work and the government, i.e. the parasitic ruling class. And to clarify, I say that as someone who is not at all “leftist” oriented, even though it may seem so at first glance of reading that to some

I definitely wouldn't say that criticising big inefficient government is a leftist talking point at all.

100% agree. reading "parasitic ruling class" makes me think of a Trumpist rather than a socialist, for sure.

That would also be wrong (or disastrously incomplete).

Using tax to build roads , fund schools , maintain community parks , allocating to providing care for the poor and defense funding is not “slavery” and there is no “ruling class”. You can be a burecrat or become a politician if you want. The system may not be perfect but certainly better that half assed solutions that makes no sense.

>You can be a burecrat or become a politician if you want.

You can become those things if you manage to navigate a social and possibly economic process and succeed in entering those positions. By using your own definition, a slave wasn't a slave because people like William Ellison [0] who were once slaves went on to become a slaveholder. A slave can become a slaveholder -- that doesn't cancel out them taking part in a system of slavery.

>there is no “ruling class”.

A couple weeks ago when I entered the US I was forcibly shackled and cuffed without being even 'arrested' nor formally charged with a crime and held for 16 hours while taken to hospitals against my will on the most flimsiest accusation of being suspected as a "drug mule." Do you really think a common armed citizen could have held me like that against my will without repercussion? There is most definitely a 'ruling class' who can get away with things others can't. The border patrol in fact is 'allowed' to violate the constitution within 100 miles of the 'border' (which debatably is either actual border or even just international airports) and stop people without probable cause of having committed a crime.

Perhaps 'debt bondage' is a better word to describe what the government imposes on its citizens (especially noted in the high percentage of black men thrown in debtor's jail for merely owing money a la child support enforcement). Debt bondage is considered a form of slavery by some, although distinct and perhaps less egregious from chattel slavery.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ellison

>What else do you call it

Something other than slavery, which is humans literally owned and treated as property. Maybe what it actually is, a skewed taxation system.

Sales taxes predominantly tax the lower paid more - who spend more of their earnings.

I'm not sure how this would make hedge fund managers who's net worth and amount invested might go up billions in a year but don't get paid or spend that amount.


I’m all for talking about tax policy but stop comparing our modern workforces to slavery (unless you are referring to the actual slaves of today). Slavery was/is barbaric and nothing even close to the relative bliss that is the modern workforce. I happily pay taxes, after stuffing every penny I have into tax advantaged investing accounts. At the end of the day I see a lot of government waste, but I also see the necessity of government. We can reign in government spending and taxation but don’t give me this garbage about how I’m in slavery.

If you want a perspective on how bad slavery was, search for this: Hardcore History Ep68 - Human Resources

Also, I knew immediately you were some libertarian/right, red pill person because I see this kind of talk all the time from old friends. Ya ya, the ruling class is so bad. Why are you preaching your gospel on HN? Do you want some ruling class VC money for your startup or not?

People work because they need money to survive (pay bills, rent, food, etc.), not because "the ruling class is imposing taxes through government".

A consumption tax will do nothing to reduce the power of the "ruling class" since their consumption is a much smaller fraction of their income compared to the working man.

Consumption as a fraction may be smaller but as a number it's much larger. Wealthy people own larger homes (often more than one), more and more expensive cars, boats, private aircraft, any number of other toys. They spend more on clothes, entertainment, virtually every other category of spending is higher if you are wealthy. Maybe they spend about the same amount on toilet paper.

> Consumption as a fraction may be smaller but as a number it's much larger.

The current status is one with progressive tax rates where people with higher incomes pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. This is still not enough due to loopholes, etc.

The person I replied to complains about "ruling class" and proposes (presumably as a way to mitigate the ruling class' accumulation of wealth) tax on consumption.

Since the fraction of income used for consumption decreases with income, a consumption tax corresponds to a regressive income tax (higher income -> lower tax rate). This is much worse, penalizes the poorest and leads to much worse wealth inequality than the existing system.

That’s assuming you charge consumption taxes equally. If you exempt basic items it evens up far more.

I don’t pay consumption taxes in the U.K. on food, rent or public transport, that’s the majority of expenses.

My neighbour does pay them on eating out at a restaurant, a kitchen refurbishment, and a new mercedes

I get the analogy many others here intentionally miss. Usurping the value of your labor by force. Most of us in America work >4 months a year with all that value stolen by the parasite class. How many months will we accept until, instead of theft, we call it slavery?

Those taxes pay for societies various needs, schools, roads, defence

You can go live in a society with few taxes if you want, look at moving to the Bahamas for example. Have fun.

Many others have chimed in, but this is very important to highlight. Meeting with clients, going to conference, having important meetings, these are things we consider work. However, from the eyes of the law, these are temporary things that need to be done in person for business that has already occurred. That is, if you come to a conference, meet a potential client, and then set up a sales meeting before you leave, you have conducted new business in the US and violated your B1 visa. See [1] for the actual exemptions. Technically, if you check your email while on B1, this could be construed that you are conducting unauthorized business in the US. Of course, these laws never foresaw technological progress and so the world governments look the other way because they do not know how/what to enforce.

I'm going to put it here as this is what an immigration person put it to me, just ask yourself "where are my feet?" That is the country/entity you should be paying your taxes to by default unless there is an explicit reciprocity agreement that may apply to you. So, if you're traveling Europe as an American while working remotely, you are violating tax law in every single country. From the law's point of view, there is no difference than as if you had contracted out your work to someone in each one of those countries. Don't worry, no one is going to come after you for those 10 hours but just know you are intentionally (or grossly negligent) making use of the inaction of enforcement.

[1] - https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary...

> ...Of course, these laws never foresaw technological progress and so the world governments look the other way because they do not know how/what to enforce...

Other than the current scale of activity, the law has no "never foresaw technolo..." excuse for failing to cover such things. Centuries ago, it was perfectly normal for authors, composers, painters, etc. to travel to and work in other countries - "for their health" as they worked on their next masterpiece, or for inspiration, or to give paid lectures, or to perform or conduct music, or to paint portraits of locals, or several of those things.

It'd be rather interesting if a lawyer or few (who were fond of dusty tomes) did some real research on how those activities were handled back in the day, the old case law, etc.

I'm not sure I agree. With computers, people can literally teleport around the world which would have been ridiculed even 50 years ago. Probably something like "Haha, you think one day you'll be able to reach into the telephone and fix the thing on the other side, haha". I think it is an open question whether or not a sysadmin working on servers around the world is any different than paying the sysadmin to travel to each server and work locally while continuing to work on the global servers. The former is fine whereas the latter would legally require work authorization in each country.

Let's say it's 1937, and I'm a successful author enjoying life at a hotel in Italy. And writing my latest novel. Mailing chapter-by-chapter draft copies of that back and forth with my literary agent in London. Occasionally calling that agent on the (then-expensive) telephone with both questions, and instructions for him to execute on my behalf. Occasionally calling editors at various publishers (perhaps in several countries) to discuss business. Or to argue about how they destroyed the beautiful cadence of my dialog in Chapter 8 of my prior novel. Maybe I send telegrams to another agent I employ in New York, asking questions and giving instruction.

The modern, computerized version of this is faster, cooler, and sexier - but (IANAL) I see little basis for saying that there's a legal difference in kind.

The example you give is a clear violation, both in the past and the present. The author's feet are clearly in Italy and hence subject to Italian taxation (unless reciprocity agreement). That's not up for debate. This corresponds to the "latter" option I proposed before where the sysadmin travels around. This we are definitely aligned.

Upon reflection, I should not have said "an open question". Rather, I should have said that many feel that the spirit and intent of the law should be revisited. For many, the feet test is about resources utilization. Using electricity, internet, housing, etc. In the author example, the author is clearly making a choice to live at that hotel. Back when the law was written, I think this would have covered most cases. However, now, the modal case are "digital nomads" where the normal thing is to not spend more than 1 week - 1 month in a single place. Oftentimes, the destination doesn't matter, but the journey. In the extreme, imagine spending 2 days in every country in the world, in perpetual motion. This has always been a possibility and the law covers this case (as we both know) but I think people are beginning to question if it makes sense given the new distribution brought by the internet. To come back to the sysadmin example, the point was that the sysadmin is utilizing the same global resources except for maybe an additional epsilon as they move around to the different localities. Many feel that the locality does not provide anything in return for the right to tax the income.

That's an interesting case - if you write a book on holiday, but not on contract, and then sell it later when you return, where did the work occur? Where did the taxable event occur?

For that specific case, it is tempting to look to securities law, and the "when did something clearly become valuable?" concept.

If you're a well-established author of (say) steamy romances, writing yet another steamy romance - then the value is created (work is done) when you write the book.

If you're a nobody, dreaming of success as an author - then the work is done when you somehow convince a publisher to take a risk and buy your manuscript.

(And in between those cases it would get messy:)

I bet the only industry that has some guidance on this is the movie/tv industry - and even then I bet a lot of it falls on the incomes of the employees actually filming on location, etc.

It would be interesting to watch California try to claim income tax on book royalties that were first started in CA but then the author moves elsewhere.

There must be some exception to this. I am a US citizen working for a London company and a few times a year I go over, explicitly telling the immigration officer it's for "business meetings," and that's explicitly allowed. I couldn't just go work for the hell of it but as a manager of a team it makes sense I make special occasion trips. Technically they could ask me to produce a letter from my employer explicitly confirming the reason for my travel but I've never had any friction at all. But my company was very explicit that I explain it's for "business meetings" and not regular work.

Yes, business meetings (and the things in this spirit) are the exceptions. However, you certainly cannot say "I feel like doing my normal job in London this week". Now, let's say you go to London for one important meeting and spend the rest of the day working as you don't want to waste your time, ok, no one is going to ask questions. But, if you go to London for one meeting and work there for the rest of the month, you are in clear violation. Is anyone going to hunt you down? Probably not. Are you breaking the intent of business visas? Definitely.

There are exceptions of some sort for meetings and conferences.

Nope, unless your country has a special arrangement with the country you are visiting, you cannot work with a tourist visa, at all. Does not matter if the company is local or not. No work visa = no work.

This is a legal loophole for digital nomads. If I am connected to my work via a VPN, I am technically still working in the country of employment. I am not producing any commercial output in the country I am staying that I or my employer benefits from beneficially. I am 100% confident this has been reviewed by well paid lawyers at AirBnb who have zero sense of adventure, and that this is all water tight.

I believe that’s not what government laws says (for any country). Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but pretty much all countries/states consider you working there if you are physically present there. Your VPN or where your “commercial output” is, is not considered a factor at all by governments.

Most countries only care if you are taking a job that a local could have done. That is clearly not the case if you work remotely. If anything you are increasing local jobs by paying for your accomodation and food.

Once again this has been reviewed by laywers at different companies who have deemed this risk to be acceptable.

There might be countries that will arrest you if you read your corporate mail while on holidays, however, these generally not on the green list of safe countries to travel too.

Mexico is one of the few countries that legally allows remote work on tourist visas and a common complaint is that remote workers are driving up rents.

Allowing unrestricted access to your country by remote workers will have economic impact.

I understand that it would make sense for governments to not care since it’s money coming in and not displacing local workers. But the laws are still there, saying it’s illegal. If they weren’t, governments wouldn’t come up with special “digital nomad visas” for that specific situation.

> deemed this risk to be acceptable

Acceptable to the company. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's acceptable to you, especially if penalties would primarily fall on you for illegally claiming the wrong immigration status.

No, that's not how it works at all.

There are several ways tax codes can categorize income:

- the country the person was hired in (e.g. US)

- the country for whom the work is complete for (say if US employee delivered code for a Canadian office)

- the country the company who hired the person is located in

- the country the company paying the employee is located in

- the country the person was originally hired in (same as #2)

- the country where the work is actually done

A lot of countries just look at the last one. Doesn't matter if you were hired in the US, paid in the US dollars and US taxes are taken from your pay check. If you complete your work in country X, country X wants their taxes according to their laws.

There is a separate aspect for the company. You as an employee might comply with all tax regulations - hired in the US, US taxes deducted, but you file your taxes in a separate country and pay taxes owed.

But your employer may be out of compliance as well - they may need to be registered in the that country, have obligations for employer tax and social security payments, etc.

It's mostly their own obligations companies are worried about. If the employee pisses off and breaks tax law in another country, well that's on them.

The reality of what the law says and what countries and companies do in this case are often very disconnected.

But when it's a big or noticeable deal, then things come into play. US baseball players have to file Canadian taxes when they play in Canada, and if an exposition game occurs in Japan or London, taxes are filed there, too.

If you're not trying to evade taxes, and aren't making much anyway, most places don't actually do anything, but if they decided they wanted to they could.

"If you're not trying to evade taxes, and aren't making much anyway, most places don't actually do anything, but if they decided they wanted to they could."

Skirting gray areas is fine - working while on a 3 week vacation is likely not worth chasing down.

Staying in a country for 4 months knowing that after 3 months you should pay taxes, but just pretending you're a tourist? That's pretty clearly trying to evade taxes.

> If I am connected to my work via a VPN, I am technically still working in the country of employment.

I hope this is sarcasm. A VPN is a technical detail that would never stand up, legally. The only situation where I can see a VPN being useful is within your own company: if they don't want you working remotely a VPN might help cover up the fact that you are. But aside from that it won't help you.

Law is all technical details and abstractions though.

Where are you working if you are flying above various states and countries while VPNd?

There are international conventions and it could be the country you are going to, flying over, or where the plane is registered. Or a mix of all 3.

A better analogy would be if you worked remotely from a boat on the high seas on your own boat.

> I am 100% confident this has been reviewed by well paid lawyers at AirBnb who have zero sense of adventure, and that this is all water tight.

I hope you're being sarcastic here, no?

absolutely not that gets people in trouble if you get attention from the cops (source: been in south east asia for a while)

As far as I know this is incorrect. In most countries working is entirely different to touristing and ‘doing business’ (i.e. selling). Just ask musicians - they have to get performance work visas for every country.

As far as their tax authorities are concerned, yeah, you normally have 90 days or so where they don’t care about your income, but immigration? Almost never. Most digital nomads just get away with it because it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things that customs and immigration authorities have to care about - witness the Thai visa tours etc.

I don't think is true for the Schengen zone/Schengen adjacent countries.

I'm a musician and have toured Western Europe a couple of times (and know a lot of others who have). Apart from the UK noone I know ever gets working visas, and this is never a problem crossing borders honestly saying to immigration that we're there on tour in a van full of music equipment and merchandise.

> we're there on tour in a van full of music equipment and merchandise

There are separate arrangements for touring groups. However, if you're not from the EU then good luck. You'll notice that there are huge complications after brexit. That said, likely nobody will check, care or notice.

That said, likely nobody will check, care or notice.

Even if noone cared, relying on the apathy of others seems like a poor part of a business model. Unfortunately, they do seem to care at the US-Canadian border entering the US. There have been a few Canadian professional wrestlers, like Mike Bailey and Super Smash Bros., who were barred entry to the US entirely for 5 yrs because they were caught trying to work in the US without a visa.

More on the topic of musicians: https://www.huffpost.com/archive/ca/entry/us-border-canadian...

I think this is all silly, of course, especially because American acts have seemingly no trouble working in Canada. I shouldn't take for granted when I saw the Canadian band badbadnotgood in the US last month...

>trying to work in the US without a visa.

Yes, but that is a case where they're getting paid in the US to work.

The one conference horror story I recall from a few years back was someone was going to speak at some small UK(?) conference and they were getting an honorarium or something like that. And they told immigration and I think were denied entry for that reason. But I've spoken at dozens of events for free and it's never been an issue.

Sorry should have clarified, I'm not from the EU. This is on an Australian passport on the visa waiver program, and American friends have had the same experience (including some biggish bands who tour Europe a couple of times a year).

Maybe it's a "noone cares" thing, but this includes some American friends who were caught with weed in their tour van at the Norwegian border and still didn't have any visa issues (and somehow still managed to get into the country!)

Schengen has nothing to do with freedom of movement for workers.

This only works if you are holder of passport of the origin country. As a third world country national, I cannot legally work anywhere except the country I got my work visa.

PS: Even if company is multinational corporation.

Laws are still written for those doing manual labor.

What's the difference if I do some work in the evening at home or during my holiday in e.g. Greece?

The only added cost in given country is energy. Problems start to appear if I get sick, but that should be on myself - and in most cases (for EU citizen) it is most appropriate to return home to cure/hospitalize (unless it is something needing immediate help).

There are also other issues.

What with labor laws? Should you follow the laws from the country from where you work or where the company is located? Companies would just get a post box in the country with the weakest labour laws.

The simplest solution stays that the laws where you physically are apply.

This already happens, that’s why every company is incorporated in Delaware.

No one’s gonna know if you are a tourist in Japan for 90 d and you work there remotely. Literally no one. No one will know.

The next time you try to enter or leave Japan after staying for 90 days, they would ask you how you are able to stay 3 months without working. If you cannot show significant savings, then you would get deported and banned for 10 years. Happens all the time.

Does it really happen all the time?

Any references to this happening all the time?

Because to me it seems like border patrol doesn't have the authority to check your bank account or demand that you "show significant savings".

Sure they can refuse to let you in but does it really happen all the time?

You are showing a bit of naivete and entitlement - if you are visiting a foreign country, you often have to apply for a travel permit. If you are applying from Russia/China/Mongolia to UK/US they ask you for bank statements, evidence of having a stable job or holding any property in your home country, you travel itienary, and ask whether you are a person of good character. Lying on the application form results in a 10 uear or lifetime travel ban.

After all that, when you arrive at the border, they ask questions and US border guards in particular may ask for access to your phone and laptop.

So it does happen all the time, it's just thay typically rich tourists from America are subject to less scruitiny than folks from poorer or politically messier places

I've seen a student required to show a bank balance and withdraw sufficient money before being granted a tourist visa for a different country. (He was in front of me in the queue.)

The UK requires some visitors to show bank statements when applying for a visa.

Germany for example, requires a "Blocked Bank Account" for certain type of student, work and other kinds of visas.

This account is opened remotely from the students' home country in a German bank, before the visa applicstion. And savings cannot be withdrawn for a period of time.

I had an acquaintance that studied in Germany that had a visa problem for withdrawing more money than allowed from his "Blocked bank account".


Lol they're not gonna deport you on your way out. I'd like to see one example of deportation orders for someone already at the airport to leave the country, purely based on accusation of having worked remotely in Japan.

Say that you're using PTO?

Lie to immigration? People in this thread are insane. Going to get yourselves banned from counties.

I've been to many nations including for months and including illegally overstaying. No one gave one fuck to ask whether I was working not. The only people that have ever grilled me like this is my own country, the USA, where returning as a citizen the last time I entered I was forcibly taken to a hospital to be anally probed (with even a warrant, although after 16 hours they could not find a doctor to execute it) based on a wild and false accusation they thought I was a drug smuggler. Only the USA and a few other insane nations are dumb enough to pull these kind of stunts.

Somewhere like Brazil/Paraguay/Mexico/Philippines/Iraq no one is gonna ask you if you worked remotely while on your way out. No one. Half the time they don't even bother to ask what you're doing while entering, they just stamp your passport and you're on your way. Japan may be different, but there is no way they're gonna deport you on your way out.

Every non-European country I visit very specifically asks me ‘are you going to be working’ every time I visit.

I think they do this for the quite clever reason that then if you work they can get you for lying to an official rather just for working.

I'm sure some ask. The risk of being deported or caught seems incredibly low, especially if you pick a country in South America or southeast Asia. I cannot think of a nation there that ever asked me if I was working. When I was caught overstaying in Iraq they immigration guy was visibly pissed but he couldn't speak English so I juts handed him <fine for overstay>, and went on my way.

You were just visiting more chaotic places.

All European cointries have records of your entry/leaving, and if you overstay you will likely end up with a lifetime travel ban. The only exception would be like a medical emergency.

Hasn't infamous 'hacker' Weev been hiding out in European nations/territories of Transnistria/Maldova/Ukraine for like 4 or 5 years now without any residence authorization?

Same experience, sans probing. I have also, interestingly, overstayed in the West including using a residence permit to enter that was no longer valid. Japan they checked my baggage, same smuggler thing, but I only had my host of bootleg (not really, I just like being equipped so I just get them from generics factories) antibiotics + pharma and they don't really care about those personal quantities.

Ah, but consider if you're a multinational corporation, and your employee asks for permission to work remotely from Japan for 90 days.

Will your policies allow you to give permission for something illegal?

Why should they care? The liability is with the person, not the company.

> The liability is with the person, not the company.

Why would the liability be solely with the person? Especially if that company has a representation in the other country I highly doubt this.

In e.g. NL the company has to "take care" of the employee. A company cannot just ignore such a question, or take it as "not my problem".

Of course not. Employers have regulations as well. If you are paying someone working in Japan your employer should follow Japan laws on employer regulations.

I do not know about Japan specifically, but some developed countries do quietly monitor people that spend significant amounts of time in their country for violations that would require a proper work visa. It is not safe to assume no one will know -- I know of cases like this where people were flagged.

As long as we are acknowledging that this isn’t allowed.

I know a lot of countries turn a blind eye to enforcing immigration and labor laws. Thailand being one of them.

Even Pieter Levels works out of Thailand and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a Thai work permit.

Border control and ice will know.

Tangent, but it turns out terms like "third world" are no longer accurate. If memory serves, this is explained in the book Factfulness. A highly recommended read, by the way.

A few decades ago, there was a group of wealthy countries, a group of poor countries, and a large gap between them. Back then it made sense to see them as 2 separate groups, first world and third. Right now however, they're no longer separate groups - there's a continuous spectrum. A growing number of countries have been crawling out of poverty.

Some countries are rich, some are poor, and some are in between. They're no longer separate groups.

(This of course does not mean that there isn't a poverty problem in the world. Just that "third world" no longer accurately describes the situation.)

Weren't the terms used to connote alliance with the US (first world) or the USSR (second world) and third world meant non-aligned?

so, the poster is wrong on the specifics but correct on the general idea that the term third world no longer makes much sense.

I stand corrected, thank you!

To clarify, I misremembered Factfulness. The book actually talks about "developed" versus "developing". In my memory I jumbled that up with "third world".

I think you're wrong about this -- as I understood it, the term is a relic of the cold war. "First World" nations were aligned with the US, "Second World" were communist or communist-aligned, and "Third World" were not associated with either.

After the collapse of the USSR "Third World" became primarily associated with impoverished nations.

And Trump was trying to convert the US into a "second world" nation.

First world -- NATO member states

Second world -- Warsaw Pact member states

Third world -- all other states

Some dude coined these terms, and they caught on for a while during the cold war. Third world typically being of little interest to first and second, and often poor.

So eventually "third world" came to just mean "poor countries". After all, there has now been as much time, post WWII, without the cold war, as there was with one!

Which would make Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Japan etc third world.

That’s not how the term is used.

In the EU and FoM countries you're still supposed to pay social contributions where you work. There are many complex rules for people who are regularly on the road (like truck drivers, artists on tour) and dispatched workers, but as the average tech worker you can definitely get your employer in trouble if you work more than 20% outside the country of employment. That's why cross-border commuters can't work from home more than one day of the week, technically.

The 20% rule only applies to Switzerland and the "Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen" with the neighbor countries or EU. This was the reason I quit my job in switzerland and moved back to germany (without taking a huge pay cut ;), more vacation days and only 35hour/week), now the 183day rule for social contributions and tax apply as long as I live in germany. So now I can work from portugal during winter :)

Not only Switzerland, no, see Luxembourg.

Most employers won't allow what you're doing.

There's no EU-wide 183 day rule for social contributions. If you stay more than 3 months in a country you need to be registered as a posted worker, and there are some legal implications.

you're right, depending on the country/company there are some additional implications, in my case it helps that we have a subsidiary in most EU countries, so it can work via an "entsendung". I really hope that these things will change (social and tax wise) in the future within EU to make it easier for work setups like this.

>without taking a huge pay cut ;), more vacation days and only 35hour/week

Would you mind sharing in which area) industry one can get such a good deal in Germany? All i found was 40h/week, some with overtime.

The 35h workweek is quite common in companies with an "IG Metal Tarifvertrag" in place, most companies in the automotive industry and their supplying industries provide such contracts, but also a lot of medium size companies... Don't expect FANG salaries ;)

Aren't those IG Metal companies shit in the SW dev department due to outdated mentality thanks to German boomer management, heavily birocratic, with poor pay?

I'm asking since the companies in Austria with IG Metal equivalent are terrible in those regards: poor pay for SW devs as their main money making products are some automotive/mechanical widgets instead of SW, boomer management insists on commuting to the office to some remote village because if the guys in the machine shop need to be in the office to do their work then so should the devs and everyone else, outdated SW, tooling and dev practices, poor equipment (some cheapo underpowered Dell/HP/Lenovo bogged down by corporate spyware that the pensioners in IT insists everyone must have, including SW devs).

Kinda confusing to me, since you said you're getting nearly swiss money and it's not what I imagine at IG Metal companies :)

Hi, most of them yes, but they are und er pressure to good people and in a lot of companies a generation change happens with new ideas. But you're right for every innovative company there are dozen quite old fashioned :(. The big ones usually get it, Daimler, trumpf to name a few...

From my personal experience a lot of companies in Switzerland are more conservative

Not a day goes by where someone fails to mention Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen!

> I've worked in NY offices and got paid in UK (

If you're doing ordinary work I think that violates the terms of the B-1/B-2 visa - even if under 90 days.

Like most law it’s vague and subject to whims, there’s no flow chart to give you a definite answer.

If you go to meet team members in your NY office, interview some new staff, and look for a new building to move the office to, that’s all fine.

If you happen to do some unrelated sysadmin work on your servers in london while you’re there, that’s probably fine too, as your primary reason to visit is quite clearly fine.

If you went for a holiday for 2 weeks(on a B2 or esta) and happened to answer a phone call from work that’s fine.

If you went on holiday for 2 weeks and spent 10 days working remotely that’s probably not fine. If you went on a family holiday for 4 weeks but did a few days work remotely that’s might be ok. If you did it several times a year though it probably wouldn’t be.

There’s no hard and fast rule in law, and doubly so in immigration where the power to allow you in sits with the guy at the airport.

https://legalservicesincorporated.com/immigration/what-activ... has a good overview.

My understanding is, for an American in a EU country, is they can go and work remotely there for the 90 days as long as they are not conducting business in said country. This means face to face business meetings with clients. When you log in remotely to your job based in the USA and not interacting with people directly during the tourist stay, you're in the clear... I think?

> My understanding is, for an American in a EU country, is they can go and work remotely there for the 90 days as long as they are not conducting business in said country.

That's not legal. To work in the EU you need a work visa. Though they ignore the business trips. What's legal and what's checked are different things.

E.g. new foreign colleagues need to get a tax id in The Netherlands before they do any work. Doesn't matter if they came from the US.

I (from US) can't speak to the actual laws. But with respect to "what's checked," I've been asked the purpose of my visit at immigration in countless countries around the world and I'm always completely open about attending conferences and meeting with customers and no one over decades has batted an eye. (Of course in the handful of countries I did explicitly need business visas--like China--I got one.)

Of course, there are a lot of unenforced laws on the books, but I'm a little skeptical that the millions and millions of people who travel cross-border on business trips every year are all mostly breaking immigration laws.

To be fair, my experiences are all on relatively short trips--a few weeks at most and usually less. Perhaps there would be more issues if I were staying 90 days and was open about workationing the whole time.

> I'm always completely open about attending conferences and meeting with customers and no one over decades has batted an eye.

Attending conferences is usually ok, but it's a complicated topic because it depends on the traveller's passport, the visited country and how strict rules are enforced.

As a foreign national, for example a U.S. B1 visa allows attending conferences and close business deals. But it doesn't explicitly allow working remotely for a non-US company.

Of course, even a B1 isn't a tourist visa. A B2 (US tourist visa) specifically doesn't include non-social events.

In any case, in most countries whether explicit or implicit that distinction is probably the right one. Of course, no one is going to care or know if you check some emails and do some work--just like no one cared if you made some phone calls and did some work years ago.

But, in most places, you probably shouldn't show up and say you'll be spending the next 90 days working remotely.

No, if you're performing paid work like that it's still violating the visa.

Just that normally no-one ever checks or cares.

It could be a problem if you later try to become a resident in the same country though.

This is not correct. There is probably a special deal between the UK and USA, but there isn't anything similar for Americans working in most EU countries, and the rules are per country.

> I think everyone wins here.

Everyone except the cities that have already lost a quantity of apartments and offices that have been repurposed as AirBnBs...

Why are the cities the losers? I travel a lot for work(300 days/year) and I don’t have an apartment, so when I’m not working I’m pretty much also traveling. Occasionally I use Airbnb and I think it’s a much nicer option than hotels.

Because it's almost impossible to purchase a house if you live and work in a large city now.

Airbnb "hosts" use their ever growing stream of reverse mortgages to purchase more and more single family homes at cash offers over what others can afford.

It seems like Airbnb is an easy scapegoat to use for the actual problem of not enough houses existing/being built. Another scapegoat is ‘foreign investors’ but I think this also isn’t true. In the US I think the people willing to make cash offers for houses in expensive cities are often the rich people who live there. There are also companies that will advance you the cash so that you can make a cash offer before going through the whole mortgage process, which seems a bit silly but if these companies exist then some people making cash offers must also be regularish wealthy home buyers who will use regular mortgages.

It's a symptom of viewing homes as investment properties. Building more just dilutes the value of their investments. Heavily tax or ban owning mulitple homes and watch as cities suddenly become affordable again.

Do you think this is an primarily caused by Airbnb?

I live in a city that is a major tourist destination worldwide. Tourism has always been a blessing and a curse; shops always suffered a pressure to become tourist oriented; some big buildings were converted to hotels.

With AirBnB the problem has expanded massively. I cannot find a 3-room office that is not miles away from the city center because everything that size is an AirBnB. An employee I just hired that moved here from a different city has been forced to live for months in an AirBnB because there are no long term rentals in the city (ah!).

Since every wall-confined space can be an AirBnB, every wall-confined space becomes one. The lack of regulation makes a real difference, compared to shop and hotels.

Yep, i live in a country with massive housing issues in our cities (well... like most other countries), and banning airbnb is mentioned a couple of times a week now in mainstream media.

And if the large cities are a problem, there still are some new building projects done here, if you want to massively overpay an apartment,... the rural areas near tourist areas are even worse... 20km from the mountains and 20km from the seaside, almost nothing new is being built ("preserving the heritage" ... after being a communust country for 50 years, and most of the "heritage" was built in the 1970s in 80s), and anything already built being sold is massively overpriced (literally not worth it unless you're lending it out via airbnb).

I'm usually against banning stuff, but if airbnb was banned, it would be a good thing. Tourist belong in hotels, hostels, etc. and apartment buildings are for people who actually live there. And lets not forget the additional problems airbnb brings to an otherwise residential apartment building (parties (=noise), drunk tourists, destroyed shared property, etc.).

I think banning airbnb outright is not a good idea. They should limit the number of days per year a place can be rented, simple. Then you only rent if it's really your home and you're not there, because otherwise it's not worth it. Might be a pain to control across multiple renting platforms, but it's possible and if you catch a couple of persons and condemn them to high fines, this will make the rounds and other short term renters will stop.

> They should limit the number of days per year a place can be rented, simple. Then you only rent if it's really your home and you're not there…

This! As a user of Airbnb when traveling, I've found that renting "real" homes has been a superior experience. They actually have sensible furniture and decorations. They also tend to have common-sense items available, like plungers next to toilets.

Never heard of a landlord who’d rather have a string of short term rentals than one continuous long term rental unless there’s some renter protection law that makes you an effective permanent tenant. Just rent through Airbnb and then talk to the guy about a normal lease.

If you want, text me where you are, I’ll put up $10k for a bet and then if I can find you a 3 room office, you give me $10k. If I can’t, I’ll give you $10k. Gotta be anglophone, though and none of this long-term rent controlled shit because no one wants to get locked into that. My French is atrocious and my German worse and I can’t speak anything else.

EDIT: Fine, fuck it, give me a year to learn the Spanish and up the bet to $100k and I’ll do it. I find very often that things that are impossible for others are easy for me. But list your conditions up front here. I think I could manage anyhow.

You never heard of it, but there are plenty in Spain. I don't live in a tourist city but I go ofter to Madrid and Barcelona and it's a serious problem there.

It's not the primary source of the housing problem, but it definitey contributes to it.

>Never heard of a landlord who’d rather have a string of short term rentals than one continuous long term rental unless there’s some renter protection law that makes you an effective permanent tenant.

or unless you can make significantly more money as a short term rental. Also if you can theoretically hide your earnings (although I guess you can't most places anymore)

also, I believe most EU countries have some form of renter protection laws.

For illustration, where I am you can make up 1 month of long term rent in about 5 nights of Airbnb. The rest of the month is just pure profit.

Well, at that point, it's that old HN adage: there's no shortage; you just refuse to pay enough. There's also a shortage of $15/mo Manhattan Beach rentals.

well that adage is normally applied to employees under the naive assumption that you can pass the costs onto your customer (assumption generally made because you are looking for an employee because you have projects to finish with customers that pay for those projects), but when finding a place to live if you are middle class and not able to afford to live in the area it does not follow that a reasonable solution would be that you pay money that you do not possess and what, pass it on to your boss in the morning by saying 'guess what, you gotta give me a raise now!'

>There's also a shortage of $15/mo Manhattan Beach rentals.

oh yeah, right the cost under discussion is $15 a month, forgot about that. I thought it was that the cost to rent an apartment in lots of areas took up such an exorbitant amount of a monthly income that natives to the area could not afford to do it.

Here in a coastal south spain city, the rule is pretty much this:

weekly short term rental price in summer = monthly rental price for long term resident.

So if you rent for 12 weeks between late may and end of september you already make as much money than having a rental resident, and can still rent more expensively than a short term resident. For example owners typically rent a lot to tourists during the hottest months and in autumn/winter/fall a lot of digital nomad are filling the gap. They also usually have done the math and can swallow the higher rent than a local would.

Having said that, I don't want to be an owner here. Administration is horrible but basically everyone you will meet are either lazy or want to defraud you in some way and they have absolutely no sense of quality work. A friend of mine is renovating a small house all by himself because he got fed up by the locals. Maybe the end result won't be , but here the pros won't give you professionnal quality job anyway so at least he won't feel screwed.

This isn’t a Vegas poker table. Making prop bets for more money than a lot of people here can make in a year is rather uncouth.

I'm pretty sure the claims are overstated so I'd want some skin in the game. I'd have to go learn conversational Spanish / able to read local cultural cues / travel there so that's going to cost me time.

Reading it back, it does sound kind of gauche, but I'm pretty sure the stated issue is a non-problem. Like I said, people have lots of trouble getting things done and I find that the things are not that hard.

Short term rentals can have significant advantages over long term - for example, it's painless to "evict" a short term renter in almost every jurisdiction, but once it passes 30 or 90 days in some areas it becomes a multi-month process.

In cities like NY, you can easily make more in a week of renting out your apartment via AirBnb than you would in a month via a traditional lease.

I've seen entire floors of apartment buildings being converted into AirBnb flop houses. People will convert every room, besides bathrooms, in a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment into separate AirBnb rooms. Instead of renting an entire 1 bedroom apartment to one person, you can easily stick 3+ people in there as an AirBnb setup.

Oh, boy... go take a look at Greece more touristy spots. It's more profitable to keep the house closed for 8 months in the year and only rent in the season. It's much harder to avoid reporting income from normal lease, while with AirBNB you can just "forget" to report it, or even easier, just offer a small discount if they pay cash.

No, property management companies already did this to a limited extent - but airbnb has made it easy enough that it has reached a critical mass level resulting in home prices spiraling out of control to the point that homes are now relisted 6 months later at even 100% markup or greater.

The problem here in Atlanta is so bad that the core city has now banned airbnb without an explicit permit. We are hoping that gets adopted across the metro area.

In tourist heavy cities like Barcelona and Lisbon, yes. I've seen it first hand.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Amsterdam over the next few years since they clamped down hard on AirBnB.

Hosts now have to be officially registered with the city. AirBnB lost something like 90% of their hosts overnight!

Many major cities are clamping down hard. Mayors and politicians are under much more pressure from locals to stop their cities turning into, well, Amsterdam. Tourism is fine, but it has increasingly come at the cost of locals.

> Tourism is fine

Well... a moderate amount of tourism is fine, even beneficial; but excessive tourism in any given location becomes a blight. Airbnb has contributed to that, by facilitating short-term profits for "hosts" and the company and ignoring the negative impact.

Tourism that overwhelms the location turns it into a tourist trap; whatever it had before becomes a veneer over the main industry, which will be tourism.

In some places this is incredibly visible (think Las Vegas Strip vs Las Vegas) but you can also see it in many famous tourist destinations.

Of course, large cities like Tokyo are quite resistant to tourism, just because of how big they are - certain areas and attractions may be tourist heavy but the city is still Tokyo.

It's not the only cause but a significant one.

That's just if you live in a city with bad zoning policies or in cultures that hate high rises.

Not the city, but the locals who are not in tech.

The whole city suffers in the long run, as business get torn up to make a quick buck with rents, and the city becomes an empty fun park for tourists.

The problem obviously exists beyond AirBnB, but AirBnB massively escalated the problem.

Indeed, the entire city. In e.g. Amsterdam (a relatively tiny area, high tourism density) or Venice, in areas things have been pushed over. It's a spiral. E.g. something simple as "pharmacies" or "supermarkets". They leave/close because of less demand. Which decreases liveability, causing more locals to move out, causing more such businesses to close etc. These effects come next to "increasing house prices".

It really is so problematic that cities like Berlin, Amsterdam (and I believe Venice) and many more crack down on AirBnBs. Hard. You are allowed to rent out the apartment where you live, but for limited time and with high fines or even extradiction on renting out beyond the limits (e.g. 90 days per year). You are certainly no longer allowed to have AirBnBs for the sole purpose of renting out to AirBnb.

Edit: and in e.g. Berlin, AirBnB does not hand over the data of their users/renters (which Is good, I presume). So they have people scanning the renting-websites, visting homes and even posting outside to find evidence something is rented out beyond the allowed duration.

> You are certainly no longer allowed to have AirBnBs for the sole purpose of renting out to AirBnb.

That's a ridiculous requirement. Owning real estate for the sole purpose of renting has been an income source for ever. Just because Airbnb exploded this practice in popularity doesn't give governments the right to say what purpose owners can use their property for. If Airbnb is causing issues, then address those specifically, not ban the practice of owning property exclusively used for renting.

Governments tell people what their property can be used for all the time.

Even laissez faire countries like America use things like 'zoning' and 'setbacks' to control what you're allowed to do on your own property.

Ironically, the zoning in US is far, far more restrictive than in most of Europe.

So bad, that you often cannot even have a neighborhood café, corner pub, or local shop in modern suburbs. So bad, that you need to take the car to do shopping. For someone from western Europe, this is mind blowing insane: you need to take the car to buy your milk!

Well, sure, but you bought property in those areas depending on if you wanted to run a business or use it as a residence. Maybe there should be a separate residence-as-business zone used for Airbnbs.

Banning short-term rental properties feels like a quick bandaid to gain political points, not a solution to a market with a large demand.

> Banning short-term rental properties feels like a quick bandaid to gain political points, not a solution to a market with a large demand.

Seems more that you want government to facilitate running a business where it's not in the interest of that government, nor in the interest of the locals. Airbnb's aren't beneficial, plus they aren't checked as properly as a hotel.

Usually it isn't banned, what they're after is that it is limited (days/year), plus the AirBnB income is properly taxed.

That's a great requirement imo. For short term stay, we already have hotels, hostels and regular BnBs. Apartments and houses should be reserved for long term stay and regulated accordingly.

The original idea of AirBnB was to easily rent your couch or guest room for a few nights and I think regulations should be made to keep it this way.

> Just because Airbnb exploded this practice in popularity doesn’t give governments the right to say what purpose owners can use their property for.

That’s true.

The power of government to govern does not originate with AirBnB, but predates it considerably.

The particular use of the power may be responsive to situations created by AirBnB, though.

AirBnB is causing issues and the government is adressing it. I bet that many residents are asking for an outright ban of it. If I were in Madrid or Barcelona, I bet I'd do.

> doesn't give governments the right to say what purpose owners can use their property for.

of course the government is gonna govern.

quoting you here

"governments told what purpose owners can use their property for, for ever"

they are addressing those issues in limiting short rent rentals. long term rentals are allowed and regulated.

The main thing that is being handled is how to correctly handle/account for it - a long term rental and a house are basically identical from the purposes of what the government provides, both may have families with children going to school, need stores, etc.

But short-term rentals are basically identical with hotels which are commercial properties and have substantially different requirements - the people staying there will not frequent supermarkets, etc as much as they will restaurants, etc. They will not be sending their children to the local school, and so on.

Mixed use property can be (and should be!) encouraged, but it does have externalities that have to be handled and accounted for.

If you want to enrich locals at the expense of tourists, the straightforward way to do that is just raise property/sales taxes and payout the revenue to locals.

That doesn't solve the problem, you get a Dutch disease.


That's fine if you want to punish people who manages to get out of rent slavery.

Build more apartments.

Building more apartments has a huge environmental impact. Also it can severely impact the beauty of a city.

Building them if there is an actual housing shortage? Sure! Building them so people from the silicon valley can be digital nomads? Hell no.

Are you a housing planner? Do you have a degree in economics/market studies?

Also, building apartments has a huge environmental impact? Ok?.... So does rural sprawl? So does... everything? There is nothing inherently more damaging about those.

Beauty of a city? Cities are cities because of apartments. And you want.. fewer of them? Perhaps you would enjoy the suburbs more?

This is an underutilized solution in general, but is actually not even close to one at this point in time. Construction is incredibly hard at the moment (at least in the US) due to supply and labor shortages. It’s actually not clear when or even if these will be alleviated.

90 days is safe limit as advised by lawyers. In some countries you can stay much longer without incurring any tax implications, however, as a company you want to avoid your staff getting into legal difficulties if they stay overstay by one day for whatever reason (oversight, delayed flight, etc).

Very few staff tend to take 90 days in one chunk. It is often used for 4-6 weeks to either visit family, or have a working holiday in a tropical holiday location. Timezones can be an issue for some job roles, however, you can ask staff to mostly keep working according their original timezone if there is a time critical element to their job role. However, in most cases it is actually great to have someone working either earlier or later than the rest of your staff. It reduces the window for out of hours support.

>> I think this is a genius move for Airbnb. Make it easier for _other_ companies to operate in a similar way so that _their_ employees can travel and live in an... Airbnb!

Yes. Like the story of Ford doubling the wages it paid to factory workers in 1920s. So that those workers could afford a car, and the whole economy eventually followed suit.

That story isn't true. The reason why wages/bonuses were raised/introduced by Ford is because of turnover.

I get that this story may be apocryphal, but if so it is surely widely disseminated by now. I even wondered about factuality as I wrote my comment, yet I knew of no evidence to the contrary.

You didn't provide any substantial counterpoint. So what was the point you were making?

>I get that this story may be apocryphal, but if so it is surely widely disseminated by now. I even wondered about factuality as I wrote my comment, yet I knew of no evidence to the contrary.

You'd be hard pressed to provide a search pattern in any search engine that would provide a top 5 result that isn't about Ford wage raises in 1914 being about anything else than worker retention.

> You didn't provide any substantial counterpoint. So what was the point you were making?

Nor did you provide any substantial point. What is it with double standards today? My point was that you are spreading falsehoods.

Both reasons are in fact correct, but only one person here is accusing the other of being wrong and spreading lies. Please be more circumspect in your language.


Higher wages were necessary, Ford realized, to retain workers who could handle the pressure and the monotony of his assembly line. In January of 1914, his continuous-motion system reduced the time to build a car from 12 and a half hours to 93 minutes. But the pace and repetitiveness of the jobs was so demanding, many workers found themselves unable to withstand it for eight hours a day, no matter how much they were paid.

But Ford had an even bigger reason for raising his wages, which he noted in a 1926 book, Today and Tomorrow. It’s as a challenging a statement today as it as 100 years ago. “The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.”

What's the difference?

They don't have the pull to change immigration laws but they can set and prove the standard to execute with excellence with this model.

To the other comments, it is an expense-less raise.

To the California tax base, it is yet another wakeup call.

No need for immigration laws change for work/travel, especially when it's capped to 90 days.

> I think everyone wins here.

One theory I have (and it may be wrong): is that part of the rise we've seen in housing prices is due to WFH and AirBnB.

Lots of people I've worked with who were WFH in the pandemic would spend a week (or a month) in a rental while they work, here and there. And during that time, their house/apartment would be empty.

Imagine everyone does that for (say) 3 weeks a year. That's a 6% increase in "housing usage". A 6% shock to the housing market is significant when supplies can't react quickly to the rise in demand.

What about the reduction in office space usage that will have to be repurposed into something else?

Office buildings are typically not suitable for conversion into apartments, there are no provisions for things like individual bathrooms or kitchens.

Even if they could be converted (and most buildings after a certain height are basically the same except for the interior) they'd likely be torn down and rebuilt; if they even can be due to zoning.

People love to hate on zoning but there are reasons for it, even if the way it's done isn't perfect by a long shot.

Commercial leases can't be repurposed that quickly, and I suspect a lot of companies are holding off on doing anything different with their office space. If the past two years have resulted in permanent change, then some office space will likely get repurposed, but it's too early to tell whether it's permanent, and nobody wants to jump the gun and get it wrong.

Everyone wins except people who can't afford a home to live in.

Many young European countries reliant on tourism, like Croatia, introduced digital nomad/remote working visas mid-COVID to encourage people to stimulate their local economies when tourism suffered the most.

> tourism + wfh

Can't you do that on a normal tourist visa? As long as you're not getting paid by a US company or to a US bank account, you're not employed in the US, so as long as your company allows you to be remote, I don't see an issue with it.

Yeah, eventually everyone will be staying in AirBnb's hotel and paying all the mortgage/upkeep on their own property to rent it to AirBnb. "It's like Uber for real estate".

> I think everyone wins here.

The airline industry surely will. The environment likely won't. (But who cares about a few polar bears if you can just work from Shanghai for a few weeks, right? /s)

Does the environment really lose? Along with this comes the reduction of commuting. Curious to see how the math works out on that one.

Hm, I don't think one should be contrasted with the other. That is, WFH somewhere in your home city is independent of traveling the world. We can promote the former without encouraging the latter, but Airbnb is mostly doing the latter. (It's their business model after all to provide services for people who do not stay at home.)

You could probably formulate a migratory plan based on where you can live to minimize heating and cooling costs.

It's funny how this is meant to be interpreted as a work/life benefit for employees when it is clearly a removal of labor restrictions for the company. If you can hire anyone from anywhere your cost of labor will decrease overall. Yes "you can move anywhere in the country you work in and your compensation won’t change", so future salaries don't have to reflect local expenditures. You can offer flat rates that encourages people to move out of high cost cities and decrease your overall labor costs. The idea that this is a win/win is seductive but it won't be. Increasing the labor pool chips away the leverage an employee has at the negotiation table.

Employee doesn't need leverage if their income isn't going to pay a landlord.

And i hope one day, we stop living in cities and only go there for culture, cinema, parties etc.

I think this would help with keeping rent down! /s

It's trivial to do this with Gusto and companies like CorpNet. We have employees in 13 states and it's all automated.

> I think everyone wins here.

except for the cities flooded by tech workers that do not belong to the community.

Like it's happening to Barcelona.

Which community is that?

Ever heard of locals?

You can't imagine how much better Rome has been in these last two years without Americans coming to colonize our historical districts.

It's not entirely Americans fault, they do not belong here, don't know the language, the traditions, but they gather together all in the same place and suddenly it's not Rome anymore and obviously prices skyrocket up to the point that locals can't afford to live there anymore, after generations many have been forced to leave their family houses.

Big cities are by nature cosmopolitan, it’s very strange to say only some people “belong” and others don’t. Would you prefer the world isolate into pockets of belonging based on generational inheritance as it has been and we crank back globalization? Certainly there are growing pains, but I would view more globalization as the direction we want to go.

> Big cities are by nature cosmopolitan

but most rich tech workers, especially from US, especially from SV, are not.

It's time to accept it.

We don't want them.

Not at this rate, not at these (their) conditions.

They only bring problems.

One thing is immigrants coming to work, another thing entirely is people that go somewhere because "it's cheap" or "it's beautiful" but work and pay taxes elsewhere.

They also have the habit of paying more than the average prices, so housing becomes more expensive, activities have to pay higher rents to survive or adapt to the kind of entertainment that the "new people" like, which is more often than not not what they wanted to do, people that used to live near their workplace had to move elsewhere because they could not afford to live in the district anymore, they end up closing shops and move their activities elsewhere (people like to have a life, besides work and commute) disrupting the life of many other that used to go there. So when these people start buying drugs, dealers compete for their money and criminality rate increase.

Last but not least, not being part of the community makes them detached.

This[1] had never happened before Americans invaded Trastevere.

Of course this is in general, individually people are perfectly fine, but this trend is killing the fabric of cities with centuries of history, for nothing.

Cosmpolitan it's not synonym for "colony".

[1] https://www.thelocal.it/20220210/us-tourists-serving-life-fo...

> Cosmpolitan it's not synonym for "colony".

Of course it's not, but characterizing tech workers in foreign cities as "colonizing" makes little sense, even if the various problems you're pointing to can be laid entirely at their feet (which, without knowing enough about Rome to have a high degree of confidence, I would suspect is inaccurate, you could just as easily be describing general gentrification which has good and bad components).

All in all this attitude seems to me to be more or less typical NIMBY-ism, just with a focus on tech workers likely due to your purview (we're on hackernews after all). And to be sure NIMBY-ism is not usually without good reason, it's absolutely a worthwhile and reasonable goal to preserve culture you hold as valuable, and indeed in the case of Rome there is some very special culture there worth preserving. But it should be noted that change is inevitable, and cultural isolation is not a reasonable way to accomplish this goal conducive to the kind of world we want to have (or I should say I want to have, highly mobile and integrated so your origins have little bearing on your potential trajectories, much more unified than it is today as a species rather than provincial squabbling).

Rather we want solutions wherein people can move freely and be accepted wherever they go, while also preserving cultures and spreading economic benefits in a more efficient way. For instance better taxation so nomads pay taxes where they are not where they're from.

> pay taxes elsewhere

That's only because your community refuses to tax the visitors.

> They also have the habit of paying more than the average prices

then they are in fact paying taxes (or paying locals -- skipping the government middle-person) to the community.

> This[1] had never happened before Americans invaded Trastevere.


"Earlier this year, a report by the president of Rome’s Appeals Court, Giorgio Santacroce, found that criminal organizations essentially have divided up the capital into areas under their control."


> Trial opens in 2016 death of US student Beau Solomon found dead in Rome > An Italian homeless man is accused of killing the 19-year-old student.

> Prior to his death, Solomon was allegedly robbed and assaulted, just hours after arriving in Rome for a study-abroad semester.

> That's only because your community refuses to tax the visitors.

no, that's because they come here with a tourist permit and hide from authorities.

And if some problem arise, they go crying to their embassy.

> then they are in fact paying taxes (or paying locals -- skipping the government middle-person) to the community.

you mean they are skipping the community by paying some greedy multi-building-owner-speculator or mega-supermarket-chain and not giving back to the community in the form of taxes that pay for: hospitals, schools, police, roads, road cleaning, etc. etc.

You know, everything is public here, taxes pay for it, no matter if you're rich or poor, you get the same medical care here.

That's why we don't want them.

They completely disregard what's important for us, which is giving back to the people, not to the rich.

I've seen many of these people complaining that in the city center there are homeless living close to the historical monuments, while we people living in those neighborhoods have know them forever, they are part of the community, we give them food, shelter, blanket for the winter, call an ambulance if they are sick or it rained too much and they don't know where to spend the night.

That's the difference and what people like you don't and won't ever understand.

We are different from you, but you're coming to our house, so you are the ones that should adapt, not us!

> "Earlier this year, a report by the president of Rome’s Appeals Court, Giorgio Santacroce, found that criminal organizations essentially have divided up the capital into areas under their control."

Lol, you don't even know what you're talking about! [1]

He's been acquitted for that murder.

And you are comparing an homeless with mental health problems with 2 rich American students on holiday who *stabbed to death an Italian POLICE OFFICER WHILE BUYING COCAINE ON THE SREETS* ...

That says a lot about what you think about Americans, LOL.

Now compare it this, "Italian student was stabbed to death Thursday evening not far from the campus of the elite New York university, the dean said Friday."[2] ot to this "Twenty people were killed when a United States Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler aircraft, flying too low and against regulations, in order for the pilots to "have fun" and "take videos of the scenery", cut a cable supporting a cable car of an aerial lift" [3]

In the meantime, in NY there have been 485 homicides in 2021, in the whole Italy, 59 million of people, "only" 276.

We don't want that violent behaviour here.

Get over it.

[1] https://www.ansa.it/english/news/general_news/2020/12/02/hom...

[2] https://www.ansa.it/english/news/general_news/2021/12/03/col...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Cavalese_cable_car_crash

> Cosmpolitan it's not synonym for "colony".

Cosmopolitanism is historically largely a consequence of colonialism, and the draw of labor (both cheap mass and elite skilled) from the peripheries to the core.

The problem is that people move to Rome because it is Rome and not LA, and then proceed to turn it into LA.

Even a hundred years ago traveling somewhere brought you to a very different world, now it's hard to tell the difference between some cities since they're all covered in McDonald's and Starbucks anyway.

And it's not just the companies, either.

Part of the problem is our American way-of-life covers everything in a think blanket; you can easily move to anywhere in the world and remain an American as long as you want, the pressures that would bring you more in-line with those who live there are almost entirely gone.

I too lament some of the homogeneity of culture brought about by globalization. But I think the benefits are well worth it. Indeed in the future I would expect (or hope) for people to feel as though they are world citizens, and never feel too far from home wherever they go. The world gets smaller as we integrate it, and though we’ll lose remnants of the past I think it is the only way we can hope to have a future.

It's only bad if it's Americans moving abroad, it's actually racist and/or fascist and/or xenophobic if Americans complain about foreigners moving to their cities legally or otherwise and not adapting culturally.

It's bad when the power imbalance favours foreigners over locals.

There's nothing bad with Americans coming here, I love them, but there's a particular kind of people that don't integrate and think that having much more money than the average puts them in charge.

I've made some example about tech workers from USA because they are the larger and richer group I know of and it's crystal clear that most of them aren't here to make the city better or become citizens.

Also they are the ones who send their kids to "study abroad", but here you can drink when you are 16 or older, you can imagine what happens when you put young people with a lot of money in their pickets in a place where the rules of their country do not apply and the police is friendly (meaning they usually do not carry guns with them and don't arrest you for being drunk).

But it's not only them, of course and I'm sorry if I made it look like that.

But this isn’t something you can just blame on tech workers. Big cities go through this constantly not only from tech expats but also from better paid local workers.

> Big cities go through this constantly

No, they don't.

Ask someone from Rome, Barcelona, Madrid even Warsaw, if they are happy of this airbnb-ization of their cities. [1]

Anyway, cities are for citizens, not for freeloaders. [2]

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/31/airbnb...

[2] The word city and the related civilization come from the Latin root civitas, originally meaning 'citizenship' or 'community member'

I'm curious to know if short term rentals are an actual problem, compared to the much bigger, largely proven, and much less publicised, issue of hedge and investment funds buying out entire blocks of buildings.

I myself lived in Madrid for 5-6 years, and what seemed to drive the cost of living up weren't the people owning one or two rental apartments, but corporations and banks buying entire buildings up. At least in Spain, there has been a connection between banks not making large chunks of their real estate stock available, and investment funds buying on the scarcity.

> Anyway, cities are for citizens, not for freeloaders.

This feels like a bit narrow sighted.

While these workers you are talking about don't pay income taxes in these cities, they do pay other taxes (utilities, consumer products, etc.), and other than public infrastructure, they usually do not have free access to most services without paying (education, most healthcare).

So who's "freeloading" here? I would admit that they pay less taxes, but that doesn't mean that they pay zero taxes.

And another question arises. I myself am a Spaniard residing in the US. Would I be considered a "freeloader" if I go back to Spain and work for my employer in the US for a month or two? Do nationals get that consideration?

Ask someone from NYC if they are happy with the Italianization of their city...

I don't believe NY is being "italianized", Italians have been there for so long that the idea if Italians in NY it's almost a meme nowadays, even in Italy we mock them.

Anyway, it's not about where people come from, but how.

Italians didn't go to NY through Airbnb, profiting of their much higher salaries.

They went there to work and lived at "the bottom of the ladder" level (my grand-grand father is one of them, he left Italy soon after the first World war).

NY is also the most no-one-true-identity city I've ever lived in.

First time I wenr there more than 20 years ago my biggest cultural shock was going to visit the Brooklyn zoo, catching a bus and being the only white person on the bus (well almost, I look more like a Northern African, but still).

But I'm sure many in NY too aren't happy of the process that's going on.

It is, in my opinion, a massive and near total loss for all the renters, first-time homebuyers, existing families, and the sense of community in areas affected by AirBnB's cancerous growth.


Not who you were asking, but I can take a stab at this.

Short Term rentals of homes or condo units can erode a sense of community in an area where that's a common behavior. AirBnB renters aren't going to be around long so they have no incentive to be respectful to common areas, or respectful of noise levels or whatever else.

Imagine buying a condo and all of the units around you are AirBnBs, or otherwise short term rentals. I think you would want to eventually get to know your neighbors a bit, but in this case they are constantly cycling in and out instead.

I think weakening communities is something we're already seeing a lot of. Maybe it's a problem, maybe not, but I think AirBnB could potentially be contributing to this and it is worth considering the impact that might have.

My city is the apparently the "Bachelorette Party Capital" of the world. So, of course, AirBnB would not pass up such a golden opportunity.

According to a recent bit of data from AirBnB, approx. 65% of hosts on AirBnB own two or more short-term rentals [1]. Such ownership has strongly impacted our housing market, albeit it is not the only factor, but still a major contributor to the erosion of our housing market.

Many of the anecdotal complaints I have heard are things like:

1. Obnoxiously loud and large parties/gatherings at inconsiderate times of day.

2. Unfamiliar cars and strangers in your community e.g. if the house next to yours is listed on AirBnB who knows what type of people are staying next to you -- they could be upstanding citizens or violent/non-violent thieves scouting out your neighborhood. People renting the unit are not always the only ones to stay there, and who are the police going to question when they have no idea who was there or when they up and left to return back home?

3. Vandalism and/or littering of surrounding properties.

4. Lack of community like the OP posted above.

It also appears as of recently, that AirBnB's are being targeted for crime [2]. If one chooses to burglarize an AirBnB in my city, you have a pretty high chance of preying upon an n > 1 group of unsuspecting, young, unarmed women in an unfamiliar city who are more than likely not in the rental most of the time i.e. the perfect target for thieves.

There are allegations that thieves are working with Uber/Lyft drivers to find out which addresses are AirBnBs or not and which ones the renters are currently away from. Such actions are absolutely horrible, but honestly rather clever. Think of it this way -- it's easy as being a driver for Uber/Lyft, picking the group of renters up, text your buddy the address, and boom -- a thief's dream come true. Neighbors won't call the cops because so many people are in/out of the rentals, they can't keep track of what is normal or suspicious activity.

[1] http://insideairbnb.com/nashville/

[2] https://fox17.com/news/local/nashville-bachelorette-party-bu...

> Imagine buying a condo and all of the units around you are AirBnBs

All of my recent research into condos showed any building where this could be an issue has explicit prohibition on short term rentals as part of the HOA. The more egregious HOAs even have prohibition on long-term rentals without a permit which can be denied by the HOA.

I think you are reinforcing their point.

The idea is to imagine what that would be like. The reality is so obviously undesirable that HOAs outright prohibit it.

I refer to this as the Singapore solution. Singapore is nice, but you can’t buy chewing gum and caning is acceptable punishment for minor infractions. Many HOA’s are similar

Imagine living in a nice forest home near Tahoe. 20 years ago you had neighbors you talked to and could borrow a tool from. Now you have a never ending flow of new tourists visiting Tahoe staying at the Airbnb next to your house.

I assume you are being facetious. Tahoe has always been primarily second home owners. 20 years ago you rented through an agency, craigslist, or word of mouth if you were doing short term rentals. AirBnb just means it is easier to fill them so they rent more frequently which makes renting long term financially unattractive.

You have no right to control who comes into your neighborhood. This idea has deep ugly roots (e.g. redlining).

The issue isn't who is staying there, it's the fact that they are just random people that don't have any stake in the surrounding community except for their 2-night stay there.

Comparing this to redlining is absurd.

The idea that a neighborhood's character needs to be preserved is exactly the kind of logic used to justify redlining.

"Random" people should be able to buy property and use it in the same way that existing owners can.

> The idea that a neighborhood's character needs to be preserved is exactly the kind of logic used to justify redlining.

Who is talking about preserving a neighborhood's "character"? We're talking about preserving the concept of a residential area as opposed to abundance of homes being used as commercial hotel-like spaces.

> "Random" people should be able to buy property and use it in the same way that existing owners can.

Sorry, but is it not clear that this is my point?

They're not "random people". They're human beings.

What's optimal time of stay? Maybe ban students or renters as well. Might stay longer than 2 nights but certainly they dont have a "stake in the surrounding community". Might as well ban hotels while you're at it.

Again, trying to engineer who lives in your community is wrong IMO

I'm sorry, but given the unwarranted extreme language you're using, this is clearly a trigger issue for you independent of what the parent comment was saying.

No one is talking about "rights", "control", "redlining", or dehumanization.

All they are doing is observing that people like to live next to human beings they can form longer-term relationships with. This is the fundamental fabric of human society and there is nothing wrong with people desiring that. That doesn't necessarily mean they have any "right" to "control" or "engineer" it. But people who want to have deeper ties to a community (which has been shown time and time again to be critical for psychological health and societal success) have every reason to try to influence their neighborhood to enable that.

If you're trying to "control" who I can allow stay at my house and for how long, you're infringing on what I deem to be my "rights". I don't get how its not about these things?

> All they are doing is observing that people like to live next to human beings they can form longer-term relationships with.

Maybe we should ban renters as well. Higher home ownership rates has been shown time and time again to be critical for psychological health and societal success. So why not nudge out renters? Curious where you draw the line and why.

> If you're trying to "control" who I can allow stay at my house and for how long, you're infringing on what I deem to be my "rights". I don't get how its not about these things?

If you were to demolish your house and build a 3-story building in its place with a number of identical units within it and then ran it as a hotel, you would be in violation of zoning laws and would be required to stop. Would the enforcement of that law be an infringement on your rights? Should this behavior be allowed? If not, what is the fundamental difference between doing this and running an airbnb with a rotating door of extremely short-term visitors?

> Maybe we should ban renters as well. Higher home ownership rates has been shown time and time again to be critical for psychological health and societal success. So why not nudge out renters?

Don't blame the renters. Blame the landlords that hoard homes and make it impossible for renters to afford to make the transition to home ownership.

Honestly this feels a bit odd to read - I think the point is clear that communities benefit from having long-term residents, regardless of who they are.

If my neighbor makes too much noise, I can go talk to them and we will have an understanding. If an airbnb makes too much noise, I can tell the current residents to quiet down but there will be new ones in a few days. The residents don't stand to face any meaningful consequences for being a disturbance to the neighbors, and the owner of the house likely doesn't live in the community either so if I talk to them, there's no incentive for them to try and reduce the disturbances. Airbnbs around my house are known for this being a big problem. This is the reason that zoning laws put hotels in commercial space instead of residential.

I am not trying to "engineer who lives in my community", I am trying to engineer a community.

You are comparing the limiting of tourists to blatant racial discrimination...?

I don't want to control who comes into my neighborhood really. But I don't really want my residential neighborhood to turn into hotel alley. The city has specific zoned areas for that. How would you like if your neighbor started an aluminum can recycling center next door? A strip club? A nightclub?

You have no right to control who comes into your home. This idea has deep ugly roots (e.g. mass incarceration).

It's bad for the people living there for the same reason city councils don't allow hotels to be built anywhere.

Short term rentals aren't a bad thing in of itself, but the purpose of zoning is that different locations serve different needs better. When you live in a neighborhood you expect there to be elementary schools near your house, and that there's quiet hours so that you can sleep during the night. ect.

Hotels and by extension air bnb's disrupt this balance. If the five condo towers surrounding the school suddenly become short term rentals overnight, either the school needs to move or kids have to travel farther. And no amount of police presence is going to make tourists not party during 1 am. You tell one group to stop, well the next is coming in 3 days.

And it goes the other way too. Having night life congregated together makes it easier for public services to their job. You can have more paramedics prepared for overdoses - enhanced police presence because drunk people are stupid, ect.

Even if air bnb's aren't a net negative on the economy, skirting of local regulations have qualitative effects on the the city that shouldn't be discounted.

because supply and demand matter, and units that are AirBnB'ed are taken off the market for long term rentals, leading to rents for locals rising higher than trend. Even given that in the perfect economy construction would keep up with demand, there is a ~5-10 year lag between demand signal and correction in construction (prices rise, new construction breaks ground, new construction opens, new constructions absorbs marginal demand, filtering from less expensive units to more expensive units, rent prices stabilize/decrease). 5-10 years is a sizeable chunk of my life and I would strongly prefer to not have a 5-10 year chunk of my life with elevated rents due to airbnb listings.

You're missing the forest for the trees here. AirBnB only makes problems because we're all forced to work in designated commercial zones, and they "subverted" zoning laws.

Now we're "subverting" zoning laws by allowing people to work from rural areas or wherever. People can then use market pressures to live wherever is cheapest and has the amenities they want! That will decrease demand for hot cities and should make it easier to live in them.

Of course, that is presuming that our current demand craze has anything to do with residency at all, and isn't being driven by corporations like Blackstone buying up properties as investments, and Russian/Chinese oligarchs buying properties as wealth shelters. Funny how the Canadian market has suddenly chilled a little since the government banned foreign buyers. Must be a coincidence.

Apply this logic of maintaining the status quo historically. Imagine someone creates something to do (Y) with good X. Price of good X goes up due to increase demand. Consumers of good X lobby that this is bad and there should be laws to prevent good X to be used for Y.

Also why are you optimizing for lower rents (as long as they are not AirBNB short term rentals)? What about the homeowners who benefit from having more things they can do with their property? Or the people that are coming to stay short term?

> Also why are you optimizing for lower rents... What about the homeowners who benefit from having more things they can do with their property?

Because basic shelter is WAY lower on the hierarchy of needs than rental income, and shelter is not a need that the US is adequately meeting even for its middle class.

If you think the US should be doing more the shelter people without adequate shelter it should do so directly. Creating market distortions that purposely reduces the value of property and discourages production of the good is not the way to go. That would be like banning expensive restaurants because they're running up rent on inexpensive restaurants and soup kitchens. After all, desert is way lower on the hierarchy of needs than basic sustenance and food is not a need that the US is adequately meeting even for its middle class

What kind of actions are you considering that do not affect the market? Government housing affects the market by creating artificial supply. Regulations affect the market. just about anything that the government does will affect the market.

If you believe that housing is a basic right and everyone should be housed, then relying on supply and demand is not going to work. There's nothing inherent about a market that would house everyone, if anything, a market would reach an equilibrium where supply meets demand at some point where some people are not able to afford the supply and suppliers do not have an incentive/are unable to meet the price point of the remaining demand.

> Creating market distortions that purposely reduces the value of property and discourages production of the good is not the way to go.

Zoning laws already create market distortions. A zoning law that prevents building denser residential property is no more or less distortionary than a policy that prohibits short-term rentals.

Also, reducing the future expected value of property does not discourage builders; they only care about the sale price today (or, today + build time).

> That would be like banning expensive restaurants because they're running up rent on inexpensive restaurants and soup kitchens.

Restaurants are also far higher on the hierarchy of needs than shelter.

We do distort the market in favor of soup kitchens -- they have substantial tax benefits and in many places they can operate out of differently zoned property.

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