There’s a saying that anyone that has worked in an office will have heard, ‘Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions’. Whilst it might give you flashbacks of your old boss, there’s no denying it’s a pernicious phrase. People don’t want to hear problems. They don’t want to hear that vacation regulation is going to cause damage to your business, or even to their local area, they want to know how YOU are going to suggest a better alternative.
As people who believe in the power of short term rent as a force for good, we are invested in finding stories that help us prove this. We want to hear about the people that are bringing solutions to the table and are making sure that the rights of property managers to rent their properties and the future of their businesses are not ignored
So, when we came across the work of the Los Angeles Short Term Rental Alliance, we wanted to share their story.
Their aim is to combat the creeping rent regulation by highlighting how vacation rentals and short term rents are adding to their areas, how they are already part of the city that is trying to stamp them out. They share real testimonials from people that have used short term rentals to save their houses or help with medical bills. They include stories from happy guests and undisturbed neighbors.
But, to play devil’s advocate, how you use money you earn is not the biggest concern of most people, you could save your house selling crystal meth, you could spend your doctor’s salary betting on cockfights. One does not justify the other. Where money ends up is not the concern of VR regulators, it is how it’s earned that they want to know about. This reason has been ignored by countless communities and does not seem to be enough to convince people of the right to provide short term rentals.
What LASTRA have done is added to the argument. It has arguments that extend further than the fact that it makes property managers money. They have conducted their own research into the wider economic impact of short term rentals. They know regulators are at the mercy of their bottom line and are playing to this strength. They feature not just the benefits that people renting their homes and investment properties are experiencing, but also the $1.4 billion that vacation rental guests are reported to spend in Los Angeles in just one year.
It is not just about the selected few that operate homes in cities that benefit. They look at how vacation rentals have an impact on their areas as a whole. They provide a new alternative to holiday accommodation, empower people of any age or background to become business owners, distribute income to people at a more grassroots level then than the trickle down style of large hotel businesses. To give you an example, the famous Beverly Hills Hotel (as well as many others) is currently owned by one of the richest men in the world, the Sultan of Brunei.
They cite an example where the tax from properly regulated vacation rentals could be used to house over 10% of the current Los Angeles homeless population and at a lower cost than existing programs. It’s a proactive approach to the problem that demonstrates solutions rather than just decrying what has happened. They understand the majority of hosts and guests are responsible and professional. They actively seek regulation and taxation that allows them to conduct their business fairly and competitively. They echo the rhetoric that we have been saying; vacation rentals are not just good for owners and guests. They are good, full stop.
We found this inspiring and we know that others will, too. Stories like this are why we think that it is going to be harder and harder to refute the economic and social benefits of the vacation rental industry as and when more regulation is attempted to be implemented. And, this is something you can do too. In any area. If you are a professional host, with happy guests and neighbors; add your voice to the story.