Welcome to Our Blog

Here you can find the latest news about things.

Austin City Limits: By the Numbers

Written by admin
Austin City Limits: By the Numbers

Welcome back! Recall last week's post that looked at Austin City Limits 2016? We were astounded by the nearly 7,000 possible opportunities for illegal or contract-breaking short-term rentals in ATX.  As a refresher, as of July 11, 2016, on AirBNBs website more than 1,000 homes are being advertised for ACL. Of those homes, more than 300 identified as apartments, and 269 as condos.  This isn't even looking at each neighborhood, caps and permits. In accordance with Ordinance 20160223-A.l that is a lot of illegal or contract-breaking short-term rentals. In case you didn't know, industry standard prohibits short-term rentals in the lease. Find out more here, here and here.

Not only does this break the law and violate contracts, this is also a way for illegal rentals to avoid paying taxes. Lodging taxes, to be precise. To be even more precise, 15% in Austin, Texas. Taxes that promote travel to Austin, Texas. These dollars bring in conventions and tourism. 

On July 11th, when we identified at least 569 illegal or contract-breaking listings, the average nightly cost was $232. Austin City Limits runs for 6 nights. We decided not to factor in the week between shows or the possibility that travelers would come in on Thursday as performances begin at 11am.

6 nights x 569 rentals x $232 = $792,048

And 15% of $792,048 is $118,807

$118,807 being the potential amount of lost tax revenue from illegal and contract-breaking AirBNBs during Austin City Limits.

Want to get in front of this BEFORE it is too late? Contact us today and find out how BNB Shield can help identify these rentals in your building or neighborhood.

Austin City Limits: Protecting Travelers from Illegal Rentals

Written by admin
Austin City Limits: Protecting Travelers from Illegal Rentals

According to the AirBNB Website there are more than 1000 homes available for rent during Austin City Limits.

When applying the filter “apartment” more than 300 options are presented. Seventeen pages of yet-to-be booked rentals.

As of 7/11 269 condos were listed.

And based on city Ordinance No. 20160223-A.l that is at least 569 homes that are being illegally rented. Rentals that have not been inspected, permitted, or insured. Not to mention violating leases and HOA rules.

This isn’t even looking at options or data from HomeAway, Vacasa, VRBO or Craigslist.

Or the number of licensed vacation rentals per neighborhood indicated by the census cap.

With shows happening September 30 through October 2, and the following weekend of October 7th through 9th, it is common to have visitors stay throughout the week and explore the city.

Let’s just focus on the evenings of ACL. Six nights.

6x569= 3,414
At double occupancy that is, 6,828 people.
Nearly 7,000 opportunities. Opportunities for travelers to have a negative experience in Austin, TX.

This could mean the city, landlord or property management firm evicting or fining the tenant prior to Austin City Limits, leaving the traveler in the lurch and scrambling for housing.

It could mean a visitor dealing with an eviction notice the weekend of, or even a possible eviction.

A building could restrict access to the building, literally leaving the traveler out in the cold.

These are all legal, reasonable and common solutions for those managing illegal and contract-breaking short-term rentals.

This is not the impression or experience anyone wants travelers to have when visiting our city.

How does one get in front of this challenge, while still managing the issue and maintaining the community promised to tenants??

Start shielding your property today! BNB Shield uses data, photo recognition technology, and individual screening to identify contract-breaking and illegal vacation rentals. Shield your property today before those 569 homes are booked.   

I think my neighbor has an illegal vacation rental

Written by admin
I think my neighbor has an illegal vacation rental

Lots of new faces. Weeknight parties. Four voices coming from a two-bedroom apartment. Never seeing that aloof neighbor you met last April when they moved an entire Ikea showroom in.

Does this sound familiar? Does this sound like your neighbor? Are you wondering if, maybe, just maybe, they are renting out their place for those vacationing in your fair city? Is this frustrating because of the noise levels? Are you feeling endangered, and worry that the people coming in and out have not been vetted? Is it just something you want to know?

There are several things you can do if you feel your neighbor is renting their home on AirBNB, VRBO, Vacasa, or any other short-term rental platform.

Apartment or Condo

Look at your lease or HOA agreement. Find out if your building authorizes short-term rentals. If it is clear this is against the rules it is pretty easy to go to the property manager. Be sure to have dates and information available. If the building does allow for vacation rentals you can still reach out to the property manager if noise or traffic is an issue. Clearly articulate how it is a disturbance or you feel it violates the contract and agreement you signed.


Maybe you don’t have a property manager to reach out to. You still have options. Many cities require hosts have permits and undergo inspections. Cities like NOLA even have online maps of permitted hotels and BNBs. Knowing city ordinance helps you understand what is and is not allowed.

Let BNBShield Help

Think your neighbor is illegally renting their place? Let us know! Email BNBShield at reports@bnbshield.com. We have a multi-pronged, data-heavy process in place, and your tips only make it stronger.  

Our Favorite Hotels

Written by admin
Our Favorite Hotels

A few months back I read an article from Jenny about returning to the hotels when traveling. She, like many travelers these days, had become a devoted Airbnb user. Why not? Less expensive, all the amenities of home and a bit more space. It is pretty darn appealing. But then she went to a hotel, and remembered all of those amazing treats - room service, housekeeping and doing absolutely nothing. Not to mention the fancy mini-shampoos. And isn't that what vacation is about? The ability to truly relax. So why not stay at a hotel!  Here are some of our favorites.

W Hotels

The epitome of class, luxury and relaxation, we love all Starwood hotels. The staff is always knowledgeable and friendly, and the beds are so comfortable! The Austin location has an amazing pool!

Home2 Suites by Hilton

Planning on a longer trip, or have business travel? Imagine if a Hilton hotel merged with a vacation rentals. All of their properties provide the comforts of home, are affordable and come with the perks of a hotel.

Kimpton Hotels

Local charm with corporate perks? Yes, please! We love the aesthetic of each and every Kimpton - reflecting the community and pulling in local artists. We also adore the perks. At the Austin hotel free bikes are available to guests to explore the city.

What is BNB Shield?

Written by admin
What is BNB Shield?

Often times we find that people can be confused by the concept of BNB Shield. We often hear, "wait, you need a permit to list your place?" or "What do you mean? I had no idea that homeowners may not be able to rent there place!" and the most popular, "OH. I HAVE PROBABLY STAYED IN AN ILLEGAL AIRBNB." That last one is usually said in an all-caps pitch. 

Check out our video and learn more!

We believe that a huge issue around short-term rentals is a lack of knowledge. An informed consumer will rent a home that is permitted and legal. A knowledgeable and considerate host will have all permits and inspections in place. And when property managers understand the issues and the tools available, well, they can better handle the issue at hand.

Short-Term Rentals Regulation in 10 US Cities

Written by admin in general .
Short-Term Rentals Regulation in 10 US Cities

Santa Fe, NM All short-term Rentals require a permit or registration dependent on zoning.  

Portland, OR The city requires short-term rentals have permits and undergo inspection.  

New York, NY NYS housing law states that Multiple Dwelling buildings are for permanent residents only. Law-makers are also moving forward with law banning the advertisement of illegal short-term rentals.  

Austin, TX The city allows for four different categories of short-term rentals, caps the number of permits, requires insurance and occupancy certificates.  

Miami, FL The city has strict zoning districts, many which prohibit vacation and short-term rentals in all single-family and a majority of multi-family housing buildings. Listings must be approved by the city.  

New Orleans, LA The city has strict zoning and licensing regulations - especially within the French Quarter. Those looking to rent their home as a short-term rental must apply for the correct permits and pay sales and hotel occupancy taxes. The city maintains an active database of legal rentals.  

San Francisco, CA The city requires a detailed in person application process and has strict rules for permanent occupants. Permanent occupants must reside in the home being rented for a minimum of 275 nights in a calendar year, and must live in the unit for at least 60 consecutive days prior to applying.  

Seattle, WA Regulations and limitations exist on both a city and state level.  

Santa Barbara, CA The city has strict zoning regulations for short-term rentals and home sharing, and prohibits all short-term rentals unless properly permitted. The city actively enforces these regulations.  

Denver, CO Short-term rentals are currently legal, but the city government is moving forward with law to ban STRs.  

How short-term rentals impact homeowners

How short-term rentals impact homeowners

In most cities, the real estate market is hot. Growth in places like Portland, Austin and Pittsburgh, paired with DIY reality tv, has income properties are a popular investment opportunity.

But what if you own in a condo building and other units are income properties that host short-term rentals? What does this mean for the investment of homeowners who are using the space as, well, a home?

Increased HOA Fees

A successful short-term rental will experience a high-volume of bookings. This success means a lot of traffic: guests, cleaners and contractors. When visiting a city a guest may come and go throughout the day and night. With each turnover a cleaning crew may be contracted to come in and flip the property for the next booking. There may even be more visitors or deliveries to stock the unit. This means more people coming and going, increased access, more keys and passcodes and general wear and tear. And this isn’t just for the building, it is for the common areas. The more usage a building has, or if security needs to be adjusted or passcodes reset, the HOA absorbs the cost. The HOA is not being sponsored by an invisible bank account, the HOA gets it funds from home owners. Funny how that works out. As costs and maintenance increases, so will HOA fees. An additional expense to your mortgage and cost of living.

Undesirable Building

When a building gets a reputation for having a lot of traffic, damage or transients buyers are less likely to lay down roots there. If HOA fees are too high, an agent may not even show the unit. If listings are on the market for too long, the price will drop. What does this all add up to? The value of your property may not grow. And homeownership is not a mild investment. It is one of the largest purchases in a person’s lifetime. Protecting and nurturing that investment is crucial.    

Is BNB Shield right for you?

Written by admin
Is BNB Shield right for you?

At BNB Shield we understand and know that short-term rentals are an important part of the travel industry. We also know and believe that illegal and lease-breaking listings do not. We've seen how voters and city officials respond when leaders in the shared-economy have resisted regulation. Instead of having vacation rental industry collapsing, we provide a service that sets the bar for excellence and ethical business practices. A service that supports all businesses and individuals that play by the rules.

Still not sure? Contact us at sales@bnbshield.com to learn more.

Signs your rental is illegal

Written by admin
Signs your rental is illegal

It is officially peak travel season. From wedding season to concerts, domestic and international travel will be in full-swing come this summer. In fact, 2016 is projected to be the summer of the road trip. With all of the planning it is important that you pick the best accommodations - hotel, camping or vacation rental.

Well, we really want travelers and tourists to have the very best experience when visiting any town or city. When people come to Austin we want them to experience the hospitality, amazing food and vibrant art. We do not want tourists having a negative experiencing - having vacation rentals cancelled last minute, being told to tell neighbors they are the renters cousin, or even having them get kicked-out mid-stay

What to consider before listing your place

What to consider before listing your place

With Memorial Day just a few weeks away planning summer travel is in full-swing. Short-term rentals can be a great resource and housing option for these vacations. It is also an excellent income source for those who list their place. Before doing so it is important to research the legality, understand restrictions and obtain any necessary permits. Follow our guide as you look into listing your place on AirBNB, VRBO, HomeAway or any other short-term rental site.