Featured Image Credit: Meet Charleston
At a recent City Council meeting, the topic was a familiar one: short-term rentals in Charleston. Both sides of the debate were represented, with some people wanting to cash in on the Airbnb trend and others worrying about the effects of tourists invading their neighborhoods.
HomeAway, a global giant in vacation rentals, has been pushing for legislation in favor of short-term rentals crying that limiting them would infringe on people’s property rights. But HomeAway doesn’t have Charleston’s best interests at heart.
When short-term rentals (which are currently illegal in most of the city) are allowed to flourish, neighborhoods are taken over by tourists who aren’t a part of that community. People living in those neighborhoods want to know their neighbors and form a family of sorts, not be greeted by a revolving door of strangers.
There are currently an estimated 1,500 illegal rentals, though HomeAway currently lists about 3,200 rentals in Charleston County. This isn’t the “little guy” trying to make ends meet by renting out a room, this is a multi-national corporation coming in and changing the landscape of Charleston’s communities and hiking up housing costs for those who call the city a permanent home.
Charleston, with its mix of historic charm and modern amenities, is a great place to live. Let’s not ruin it by letting money-hungry corporations take over the place we call home.