Airbnb employees can live and work anywhere - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31199833
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'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?
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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?
Having no address makes the government's brain explode.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After some time you're considered a resident so it doesn't make a difference compared to a local hire ?
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.
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
the term is 'posted workers'
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.
I definitely wouldn't say that criticising big inefficient government is a leftist talking point at all.
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  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.
Something other than slavery, which is humans literally owned and treated as property. Maybe what it actually is, a skewed taxation system.
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.
If you want a perspective on how bad slavery was, search for this:
Hardcore History Ep68 - Human
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?
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.
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.
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
You can go live in a society with few taxes if you want, look at moving to the Bahamas for example. Have fun.
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.
 - https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary...
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.
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.
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.
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:)
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.
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.
Allowing unrestricted access to your country by remote workers will have economic impact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where are you working if you are flying above various states and countries while VPNd?
A better analogy would be if you worked remotely from a boat on the high seas on your own boat.
I hope you're being sarcastic here, no?
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'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.
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.
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...
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.
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!)
PS: Even if company is multinational corporation.
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).
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.
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?
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
The UK requires some visitors to show bank statements when applying for a visa.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Will your policies allow you to give permission for something illegal?
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".
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.
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.)
To clarify, I misremembered Factfulness. The book actually talks about "developed" versus "developing".
In my memory I jumbled that up with "third world".
After the collapse of the USSR "Third World" became primarily associated with impoverished nations.
Second world -- Warsaw Pact member states
Third world -- all other states
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!
That’s not how the term is used.
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.
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.
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 :)
From my personal experience a lot of companies in Switzerland are more conservative
If you're doing ordinary work I think that violates the terms of the B-1/B-2 visa - even if under 90 days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone except the cities that have already lost a quantity of apartments and offices that have been repurposed as AirBnBs...
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
It's not the primary source of the housing problem, but it definitey contributes to it.
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.
>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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hosts now have to be officially registered with the city. AirBnB lost something like 90% of their hosts overnight!
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.
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.
The problem obviously exists beyond AirBnB, but AirBnB massively escalated the problem.
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.
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.
Even laissez faire countries like America use things like 'zoning' and 'setbacks' to control what you're allowed to do on your own property.
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!
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.
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.
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.
of course the government is gonna govern.
quoting you here
"governments told what purpose owners can use their property for, for ever"
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.
Building them if there is an actual housing shortage? Sure! Building them so people from the silicon valley can be digital nomads? Hell no.
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?
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.
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.
You didn't provide any substantial counterpoint. So what was the point you were making?
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.
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.”
To the other comments, it is an expense-less raise.
To the California tax base, it is yet another wakeup call.
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.
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.
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.
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)
I think this would help with keeping rent down! /s
except for the cities flooded by tech workers that do not belong to the community.
Like it's happening to Barcelona.
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.
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 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".
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.
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 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.
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! 
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." 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" 
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.
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.
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.
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.
No, they don't.
Ask someone from Rome, Barcelona, Madrid even Warsaw, if they are happy of this airbnb-ization of their cities. 
Anyway, cities are for citizens, not for freeloaders. 
 The word city and the related civilization come from the Latin root civitas, originally meaning 'citizenship' or 'community member'
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?
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.
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.
According to a recent bit of data from AirBnB, approx. 65% of hosts on AirBnB own two or more short-term rentals . 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 . 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.
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.
The idea is to imagine what that would be like. The reality is so obviously undesirable that HOAs outright prohibit it.
Comparing this to redlining is absurd.
"Random" people should be able to buy property and use it in the same way that existing owners can.
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?
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
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.
> 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.