It?s hard to believe that the home-sharing company Airbnb launched more than 10 years ago! Whether we?re talking about the average homeowner renting out a single room, an apartment above the garage or their entire house, to large scale property managers booking apartments and condos for short-term use, home-sharing has very quickly become a multi-billion dollar industry.

And while Airbnb might have the most name recognition, there are now plenty of competitors on the market such as, HomeToGo, FlipKey, HomeAway, HouseTrip and VayStays.

As you might expect, municipalities are now taking steps to protect both sides of the home-sharing equation ? individuals renting out their property on a short-term basis and those looking for an alternative to a hotel stay.

In Western New York, two of our larger municipalities, Buffalo and Amherst, are rolling out new regulations for residents who might be looking to make a buck by renting out their property through home-sharing services.

Among the new regulations, hosts would be required to register their property with their municipality, pay special fees associated with being a rental property, undergo additional safety inspections, obtain short-term rental certification and be subjected to additional taxes.

Done correctly, the home-sharing experience can be a win-win for both the property owner and the consumer seeking a comfortable or convenient place to stay on a short-term basis. But before you decide to put your toe into the home-sharing waters, you should do your homework and contact both town/city and county officials to see what regulations are in place in your community. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today.