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The rise of short term rentals like Airbnb has had a significant impact on the rental market worldwide. Some may argue that short term rentals are great for homeowners and tourists, others fear that they have negatively impacted the long term rental market and affordability of housing. 

According to a report by the Economic Policy Institution, the rapid growth of short term rentals has led to a decline in the availability of long term rental housing, which is exacerbating the housing affordability crisis. 

The report cites several cities where short term rentals have had a significant impact on the rental market. For example, in New York City, the number of Airbnb listings has increased by 180% since 2014, leading to a decline in the number of long term rental units available. In Los Angeles, the number of Airbnb listings increased by 73% between 2014 and 2016, contributing to the city’s housing affordability crisis. In San Francisco, where the company is based, there are now more Airbnb listings than hotel rooms.

The impact of short term rentals on the rental market is not limited to major cities. In tourist destinations like Hawaii, Florida and the Caribbean, the popularity of short term rentals has made it difficult for locals to find affordable long term housing. In some cases, property owners have converted long term rental units into short term rentals, which can be more lucrative. This has led to a shortage of long term rental units, which drives up prices and makes it harder for those of low and moderate income brackets to find housing.

And of course, landlords are beginning to see their tenants rent out their own units as Airbnbs. This can pose a number of problems. Many lease agreements prohibit subleasing, and using the property for commercial purposes. This can lead to eviction or legal consequences for the renters. Short term rentals through Airbnb can also disrupt neighbours. It leads to frequent turnover of guests, increased noise, and may negatively impact a sense of community.

In conclusion, while short term rentals like airbnb can provide homeowners with extra income, and tourists with more options for accommodations, their impact on the long term rental market cannot be ignored. As the debate over short term rentals continues, it is clear that policymakers must consider their impact on the rental market and take steps to address the challenges they pose. 

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Economic Policy Institute. (2018). Short-term rentals’ impact on housing affordability and quality. Retrieved from

Bivens, J., & Mishel, L. (2018). Airbnb and the rise of the sharing economy: A report from the Economic Policy Institute. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 32(4), 163-182. doi: 10.1257/jep.32.4.163

Guttentag, D. (2015). Airbnb: disruptive innovation and the rise of an informal tourism accommodation sector. Current Issues in Tourism, 18(12), 1192-1217. doi: 10.1080/13683500.2013.827159

Zervas, G., Proserpio, D., & Byers, J. W. (2017). The rise of the sharing economy: Estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry. Journal of Marketing Research, 54(5), 687-705. doi: 10.1509/jmr.15.0204