In response, people across the country have stepped up their efforts to keep power over short-term leases in the hands of the cities.

Airbnb, which plans to go after an IPO that could cost more than $40 billion, public Thursday, warned potential investors that managing its success in the face of angry neighbors and unfavorable local laws is one of the biggest challenges in the United States and the world.

Many of Silicon Valley’s technical giants have fought against regulators in Washington and the state capitals. The battles of the Airbnb take place in the countryside. For a company, resistance can lead to slower than expected growth and higher costs if local authorities impose restrictions on short-term rents.

Instead, the Covid 19 pandemic, which seemed catastrophic to the company in the spring, led to an explosion in rental demand among people coming to popular remote locations. In August, half of Airbnb’s worldwide bookings were made for stays within 300 miles of the customer’s accommodation, the company reported.

The popularity of short-term holiday rentals has led to local campaigns and has drawn the public’s attention to the drawbacks of living in the area with its ever-changing mix of visitors. Denver, Boston and Santa Monica, California, are among the cities in the United States that have tightened the rules for short-term rental properties.

An Airbnb spokesperson said the company couldn’t comment on the recording because we were in a quiet period before the IPO. In the past, the company has stated that its business provides livelihoods for homeowners, and its advertisements bring tax revenue to cities and states.'s-IPO-warning-unlucky-neighbors-fighting-back.5.jpeg

In Scottsdale, Arizona, near this cul-de-sac, shots were fired at short term hire.


Ash Ponders for the Wall Street Journal.

In Arizona, the only state to pass a law that deprives cities of police powers for short-term leases, at least two state legislators are lobbying next year for laws that would violate the 2016 law. The law was sold to the legislator as an old couple who earned a few extra dollars by renting out their guest room.

John Kavanagh,

the only state senator who votes against. That’s not what happened.

Investors infiltrated wealthy neighborhoods like Paradise Valley, Ariz, a suburb of Phoenix, where they rented mansions on Airbnb, Mayor, City Houses.

Jerry Bien-Willer

I said. The data collected for the city shows that 94% of the short-term rental offers in Paradise Valley are independent properties with no local owners.

Tension has risen, Bien-Wilner said after a torrent of complaints from neighbours about noisy parties in the house and crime in short-term rents. Cities can’t do much because they don’t have a say in letting properties, he said.'s-IPO-Warning-happy-neighbours-fight-back.5.jpeg

Marking evidence of a shooting that police say took place in October under a short-term lease in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Ash Ponders for the Wall Street Journal.'s-IPO-Warning-happy-neighbours-fight-back.5.jpeg

Signto protest against short-term rental in Scottsdale Ariz.


Ash Ponders for the Wall Street Journal.

Some Arizona residents have complained that the price of their homes has fallen because no one but investors want to buy a home near short-term rent, Bien-Willer said. You don’t remember your neighbors, he says.

In Sedona, Arizona, a popular tourist destination for its breathtaking sandstone canyons, the high demand for Airbnb rental properties has exacerbated the lack of affordable housing and destroyed the long-term rental market, Mayor.

Sandy Moriarty.

I said. So many residents have moved that the primary school closed last year, she says. According to her, the city has tried to impose zoning plans in residential areas, but is blocked by state law.

Share your thoughts with

Should cities and towns retain local control over short-term rentals? Take part in the interview below.

On Wednesday, more than two dozen Arizona mayors wrote to the CEO of Airbnb.

Brian Chesky,

Describe the negative effects of short-term contracts on their territory, including on the main players during the pandemic. At the end of last year, the company banned the organisation of parties on its premises, and this year it instituted criminal proceedings against at least four guests for violation of these conditions.

In Scottsdale, Ariz..,

Marjorie Pennock

In mid-October she woke up to the sound of gunfire, she says. A group of spectators in a nearby short-term apartment took up arms and opened fire. A man’s been shot in the arm. According to the police report, five houses were caught in the crossfire and more than 100 shells were found near Mrs Pennock’s house.

I think I’m going to die in my room, she said.

Block lot

Bill Hunter,

a retired banker who works to change the law in Arizona, learned from the shooting while he was in Scottsdale, handing out farm signs that say Homes Not Hotels. The next day he arrived near Miss Pennock and found dozens of residents gathering on the streets to talk to her. Suddenly I’m holding a seminar on what they can do to put pressure on their local representatives to change the law, he said.

Hunter, a 65-year-old resident of Paradise Valley, began work last year after the neighbouring house was converted into a holiday home, he says. When he learned that Arizona had taken power away from the cities to regulate this kind of property, he formed a group called Buren, not Nachtmerries, hoping to organize other injured property owners. According to him, he launched a website created by a consultant he found on Craigslist who worked on the van. Hunter encouraged people to send emails to state legislators, and hundreds of people told their stories.'s-IPO-Warning-happy-neighbours-fight-back.5.jpeg

Retired banker Bill Hunter campaigns for Arizona local government to provide short-term rental housing.


Ash Ponders for the Wall Street Journal.

The letters I received broke my heart, the state said.

Senator Kate Brophy McGee.

She is touched by the stories of her excited neighbors, and this year she has submitted a bill to regain some power in the cities. The bill was passed by the state senate in February, but dropped in the House of Representatives when the legislature paused from the pandemic. Ms. McGee, a Republican, lost her bid for re-election last month.

The Hunter team prepared a survey of the 154 candidates who had come to the Arizona legislature in the November elections and invited them by email and phone to make their views known on the short-term policy rent. He published their answers and the names of those who had not responded and encouraged people to vote for those who had promised to take legislative action.


Rapporteur: Aaron Lieberman,

a Democrat, promised to reduce his weight for the cause of the group. He was re-elected last month and said he would try to repeal the state law next year. The power is in the numbers, and people always share terrible stories, he said. That’s the question I’ve heard most often from people.

Lieberman, who earlier this year unsuccessfully tried to repeal the 2016 law, hopes to win the support of lawmakers who promised to act on the Hunter’s investigation, he said. A former state senator, currently serving as a state representative, said he would reintroduce a bill that would impose stricter requirements on short-term rent, such as maximum capacity and noise levels.

Republican governors.

Doug Deucy,

who defended Arizona’s current law, said in an e-mail that we have no intention of changing course.

Lights, Camera, Action

Last year, a group of stay-at-home mothers in Arlington, Texas, asked the city to introduce zoning laws for short-term rental properties. One of the women,

Jessica Black,

was created.


a group called Mothers Against Short-Term Leases.

Shortly after, the group passed a bill in Texas which, like the law in Arizona, would deprive local authorities of authority over these rents.

The group watched the local news for the names of the residents who had complained about short-term rents across the state. Then they called.

We said: Do you have a problem? We’ve got a problem. What can we do to work together? ” Miss Black said

She and others went to the Austin State Legislature to personally lobby lawmakers. They use their savings to pay for hotels and other expenses. Ms Black urged legislators to discuss the various dangers, including the possible use of short-term rent for human trafficking and other crimes.

The bill was never put to a vote.

Black, 46, a mother of two daughters, said the last straw had turned when the neighbouring property, rented for a short time, was transformed into a temporary compound, causing a flurry of generators and bright lights.'s-IPO-Warning-happy-neighbours-fights-back.jpeg

Jessica Black and family.


Jessica Black

We had a revolving door for foreigners, she says, referring to her neighbourhood’s resistance to the increasing number of short-term tenants. As mothers, we have lost our sense of security and community. We would be worried if our children would ride a bike, take the bus or walk dogs.

Ernie Bach,

of Largo, Florida, said he relied on advice from groups in Germany and the United Kingdom when Florida considered a bill this year that would also deprive the city of its short-term leasing options. Mr. Bach’s legislative lobby group Silver Hayred has persuaded citizens to testify in the opposition.

They have the same problems, he says. We compare the results of what happened and who succeeded, to what extent and how. Florida law expired during the pandemic. Bach said his group was ready to act if this became known.

In Barnstable, Massachusetts, a population of 45,000,

Heather Hunt

persuaded her husband to run for city council at the end of last year to help postpone an offer that would limit the city’s short-term rent.

Ms. Hunt, a 54-year-old attorney, formed a group called Barnstable Watches last year after seeing a syringe near a nearby short-term rental apartment. I said: I’m sure I’m not the only one, she remembers. I need to find the people who are going through this.

She found local properties for rent on Airbnb and other websites and wrote letters to neighbors asking them to join forces.

The group fought against the offer for a month and raised money to place ads in the newspaper and on the radio about the Arizona experience. Last Sunday, in the fall, she went to see her husband,

David Bogan,

and said: We have to run for food. We can stop or throw our hats in the ring. He agreed, and he won.

In November, after months of public pressure, the proposal was rejected by Mrs. Hunt and her husband’s group on the city council.

Neighbors spend many hours a day and pocket money on a problem they should never have solved, said Lieberman, Member of the European Parliament of Arizona. That should be our job.'s-IPO-Warning-happy-neighbours-fight-back.5.jpeg

Short-term rental of property in Paradise Valley, Arizona.


Ash Ponders for the Wall Street Journal.

Write to Pritica Rana at [email protected].

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