Opening your home to travelers is an incredible experience, and in this day and age there are various ways to do so. One of the most popular was to host via Airbnb. Wether you rent your primary residence or your second home, it seems Airbnb hosts are constantly faced with with new regulations, ever increasing fees, and other constraints that lead many to search for Airbnb alternatives. If you find yourself in this situation, its time to consider HomeExchange. Let's dive in to all the advantages of home exchanges compared to seasonal rentals below. But before you do, find out more about our HomeExchange community and how it works.Discover How HomeExchange Works
Restrictions for Seasonal Rentals on Airbnb
The Legal Context of Short Term Rental Regulations
With rising rental prices in cities leading to a shortage of affordable housing for residents, the Airbnb platform and its members are more often than not subject to restrictions imposed by local government. Many are even outright banning Airbnb-type tourist rentals, and at the very least requiring registration and permits in order to rent out, which are limited and take time to obtain.
In France last year, there were already 50 municipalities including popular destinations like Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Aix-en-Provence that have heavily restricted the right to rent on Airbnb. Often they allow for a maximum of 120 days per year to rent your main residence and a complete ban on short term rentals for secondary residences. Renters are often unauthorized to sublet, and owners who do must be declared at the town hall.
Ever Increasing Costs Lead to More Demanding Guests
On the Airbnb platform, hosts are charged fees amounting to 3% of the total reservation, which can quickly represent a significant budget. The rents received must also be declared and are subject to tax and social security contributions in many places. The tax authorities closely monitor Airbnb, which must now systematically report information to the tax administration, making checks frequent.
On the guest side, service fees can rise to 14.2%, making them increasingly demanding. The state of mind is far from the Airbnb of the beginnings. Faced with owners' concerns related to non-respect of the rented property and the neighborhood, the platform is trying to toughen its conditions by, for example, prohibiting large gatherings and parties, but abuses remain frequent.
The manner in which these fees, taxes, and unexpected incurred costs can inflate prices lead guests to pay more than they expected, and hosts keeping far less than they initially planned for in their pockets. The high prices lead to more demanding guests, who find themselves paying the price of hotels and thus desiring the same amenities.
A Growing Offer & Ever More Professionalized Housing
There is strong competition in the rental sector with more and more accommodations being listed on Airbnb. To stand out, hosts must now meet almost professional standards (housekeeping, services, etc.). If the accommodations don't exactly correspond to the standards (with personal belongings or a cat to look after for example) hosts can have difficulty attracting guests. In addition, properties that function as full time rentals often end up feeling sterile, cold, and generic, a far cry from the early appeal of Airbnb type rentals where travelers could get a local feel and lodging that felt like a true home away from home.
HomeExchange VS Airbnb : 3 Reasons to Choose Home Exchanges as an alternative
How does home exchanging work? HomeExchange is the world's leading home exchange community. Contrary to the restrictions of Airbnb-type rentals above, flexibility is the basis of our business and community. With HomeExchange, you can organize two types of exchanges.
- The Classic Exchange: You exchange your accommodation for a house or apartment with other members interested in your property. You can choose the same dates or not.
- The GuestPoints Exchange: Earn points when you hosts traverlers, which you can then use later to go on vacation to the destination of your choice: this increases your possibilities of destination and duration!
1- Less Regulations & More Tax Advantages
More freedom and fewer costs? That's what we like to hear! As a host, whether you own or rent your accommodation, you can receive guests without time limits.
Exchanging homes is a bit like having friends or family over to your house! We simply recommend discussing it with your landlord in advance to make sure it doesn't bother them. You may even convince them to discover home exchanges themselves! In addition, as there is no money exchanged for profit, home exchanging is not subject to taxation, allowing you to save money when you travel and avoid complicating your annual returns and paying more taxes when you host.
2- A Trusted Community That Cares for Your Home
House exchange is a system based on mutual trust, honesty, sharing and respect. These are values shared by everyone in the community. HomeExchange members, who also welcome travelers in their home, take it upon themselves to care for your home as if it were their own.
Also, if you have paying guests, it's difficult to ask them for services and favors! Meanwhile, HomeExchange members are always happy to be able to lend a little helping hand: watering the plants, managing the swimming pool, taking care of your cat, or other small tasks required to keep up a home.
Plus, just like Airbnb and other Airbnb alternative sites, HomeExchange offers extensive guarantees so you can stay and host with peace of mind. In the event of breakage or damage, HomeExchange guarantees are there to allow members of our community to enjoy their home exchanges with peace of mind and security.
3- HomeExchange is a Cheaper Airbnb Alternative
Exchanging homes allows you to travel in a more authentic way, and above all, more affordably! An annual membership costs just $220, which allows you to access unlimited travel possibilities for the year. This one time annual fee is all it takes to join the HomeExchange community, access all its features and benefits, and get 12 months of unlimited exchanges.
In addition, by engaging in house exchange, you are participating at your own level in the development of more sustainable tourism. Unlike mass tourism, this practice minimizes the environmental impact (absence of alteration of the surroundings, since the exchanged house is already part of the local environment) and promotes local commerce (thanks to the advice provided by the hosts).
Now you know why HomeExchange is among the best Airbnb alternatives! Best of all, one doesn't inhibit the other. If you're not ready to give up 100% on seasonal rentals, you also have the possibility, like some HomeExchange members, of alternating between renting and exchanging houses. The choice is yours.
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