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Short-term rental describes furnished self-contained apartments that are rented for short periods of time, usually by the month as opposed to annual rentals in the unfurnished apartment rental market. They are seen as an alternative to hotels.[1] ‘Short Stay’ rental is an offshoot of the corporate housing market. Popular uses include vacation rental,[1] and relocation.[2]

This industry is seen as the most affordable option for month-long stays, and might be 25-50% cheaper than a hotel room. Some companies permit pets.[1] Some booking procedures to be expected are credit checks, damage and holding deposits, and departure cleaning fees.[1] Some renters have found that online photographs and descriptions were misleading,[3] contact with the company in question is recommended.

The proliferation of short term rentals can affect those in the area who are looking for long term rentals. Through short term rental, landlords can make upwards of 20% more than they would on a rent controlled property. Thus landlords convert their properties into short term rental units, and there are less long term housing options available to permanent residents. Landlords also sometimes pressure and coerce people out of their homes, particularly if residents are low income.[4] One of the effects of this is that diversity in the neighborhood decreases as no one can move in anymore. On neighborhood community group voices concern that these temporary residents do not have a stake in the community and therefore are less likely to be conscientious about how their behavior effects those around them.

Short term rental properties place the responsibility of following zoning and municipal requirements onto residents using short term rental services like Airbnb. This leads to illegal short term rentals that violate many of these codes. Fire codes, safety codes, workers’ benefits, and transient occupancy taxes are often avoided by illegal short term rentals.[4]

However, not all short-term rental units are illegal, which poses a policy challenge to local lawmakers who have to find a way to mitigate the problems that they cause for permanent residents. For example, in Santa Cruz, CA, local supervisors have discussed parking restrictions in the areas where short-term rentals are, in order to discourage people from staying there and prioritize the local residents’ ability to park.