When Is a Lodging House Not a Lodging House?

February 26, 2015
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 I am not too sure what is a house sharing host and how does this person differ from an innkeeper or a lodge owner? I am glad that Joe Bianco’s experience sharing rooms in his Green Street house with out of town visitors to Boston. he alludes to former guests who stayed with him send him nice things from back home far from Charlestown but they still rented rooms from him, didn’t they?They aren’t his family, they were folks who took advantage of his place to stay while in the Boston area. Bianco isn’t John Walton opening up his home to friends or family on Walton’s Mountain..

 This new shared economy like AirBNB in Charlestown and elsewhere seemingly turns residential properties into income producing businesses.

The residents who lived at his house were customers, right? Whether they spent money or used services in the local community doesn’t change the facts, they paid to stay at the Green Street house, right?

Paying property taxes and paying income taxes on his earnings as a host  isn’t something to commend a house host  dabbling in this new shared economy. However, if he or any other host is running a profit-making business in private homes, shouldn’t they be required to pay taxes as a business?  As for fueling the local economy,  can’t every hotel in Boston say the same thing?

This new sharing housing  business has grown rapidly and apparently too rapidly for government to keep up with it. I think house sharing businesses out of someone’s home needs to be treated differently than other homes around them. I don’t seek to burden people like Bianco trying  to make ends  meet for him  but he has become a renter of rooms.

I think it is time for AirBNB to sit down with the Boston City Council and come up with a workable  solution for both parties. You can’t just let a new kind of business unregulated. This new house renting concept is little more than Uber without wheels..