It seems prudent to require a basic home inspection as part of the licensing process. Such inspections are required in Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas. The inspections can be conducted by City personnel or by a third-party contractor. The cost of the inspection should be covered in the license fee.
The inspections for airbnb host-resident “Private Room” rentals should be minimally intrusive and assure that
- Bedrooms that are rented meet City requirements for a “legal” bedroom
- There are no issues of “imminent danger”
airbnb hates the idea of “home inspections”:
- airbnb argues that regular homeowners are not subject to these inspections so why require them for airbnb hosts. Yet regular homeowners are not making “limited commercial use of residential property”. Historically many municipalities have required licensed bed & breakfasts to have various types of inspections.
- airbnb and others also argue that inspections are not required for long-term rentals. Yet most long-term renters visit and inspect the property in person before signing a lease. airbnb guests only know about the property from the online listing and comments from other guests.
If the inspection is appropriately designed it can minimize the risk of having an airbnb horror story.