We get how hard it is to choose a New Orleans neighborhood.
Will your commute be a drag? Are the neighbors noisy? Is parking a pain? These are questions that often can’t be answered until after you’ve moved in.
So, taking a neighborhood for a test drive seems like a good plan, in theory. That’s exactly what REALTOR.com is encouraging home buyers to do via their new partnership with Airbnb.
The soundness of this plan starts to unravel when we take into account the number of residents who are currently fighting the Airbnb explosion in NOLA. There is a contingent of property owners and tenants watching visitors rotate in and out of the homes in their neighborhood every week, with no stake in local businesses and no regard from the often absentee owners for the qualify of life issues this brings to the table (not to mention the lost tax revenue for the city).
The City of New Orleans has rules for short term rentals and I’d hazard a guess that more than 95% of the Airbnb listings in our city are flouting those rules since there is currently little to no enforcement.
In Algiers Point, there are 7 short term rental providers registered and licensed by the city. But a quick search of Airbnb shows over a dozen other properties available directly through the owners. This small neighborhood, that’s not even in the heart of the city, is just the tip of the iceberg, given that there are over 1,000 listings on the Airbnb New Orleans site.
These illegal short term rentals mean rising rental rates and fewer available properties for the people who already call New Orleans home permanently, rather than just for a festival weekend. The trickle down effect of rising rental rates means that it’s harder for employers, especially in the service industry, to pay their people enough to afford to live where getting to work doesn’t involve an intricate travel plan.
What do residents think of having these Airbnb rentals in their neighborhoods?
Reactions are mixed. Some think it’s a brilliant idea to be able to try out a neighborhood (although certainly that could be done by staying in a legal short term rental). Some don’t care. Others think that Airbnb is the spawn of the devil. Hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right?
We’ve heard some thoughtful responses that provide a little food for thought
The fact that since owners can make a lot more money with short term rentals, many tenants are being priced out of neighborhoods that they used to able to comfortably afford.
We are low-income, service industry, hard-working, New Orleanians, and we should be able to live in inner city New Orleans without fear that wealthy people will scoop up all the once- affordable rentals and take them off the market and give them to rich out of towners who want to stroll down frenchmen with their dat dog. ~Emily
The suggestions to go old school with your home search, driving around a neighborhood during the day and night and checking out whether or not you get a good vibe and feel safe.
The observations that Airbnb rentals have had a negative effect on some resident’s quality of life, with short term visitors bringing traffic, noise, trash and bitter relationships between neighbors.