Capital suburb embraces home sharing ahead of inauguration

Arlington County, Virginia just updated its short-term rental rules to allow for home sharing. The “legalization of the widespread practice,” according to the county board chair, “was necessary to get registration and regulations in place before the presidential inauguration,” the Washington Post reports.

Our latest projections for Airbnb activity for the inauguration include more than 10,000 guest arrivals at our listings in the DC metropolitan area (a seven-fold increase over President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013), and $3.5 million in host earnings from reservations (a 10-fold increase over 2013). For more details on the projections, click here.

Airbnb recently released our Policy Tool Chest, a global regulatory framework for home sharing that lays out a set of broad policy principles and examples of specific, workable options already in place in other cities for local governments to consider as they draft or amend rules for home sharing.

The Airbnb community helps cities around the world quickly scale up their accommodations to host big events, from Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco Bay Area and the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil. As a solution for cities looking to capitalize on these events, Airbnb not only provides additional accommodations but distributes tourist spending far beyond sightseeing and downtown areas, to neighborhoods that don’t typically see travelers. As of late November, the top neighborhoods for inauguration bookings were located well beyond DC’s downtown and National Mall.

Now Arlington County, just across the Potomac River in Virginia, is positioned to benefit from home sharing as well, and potentially lead the way for adoption of fair rules for home sharing across the metropolitan area. “‘We look forward to using this ordinance as a model for shaping sensible home-sharing guidelines across the commonwealth of Virginia and the entire Washington, DC, metropolitan area,’ a company spokeswoman said.”