Airbnb raises violent crime rates in cities as residents are pushed out
Researchers in the United States say there is a link between Airbnb rentals and violent crime in cities. The researchers found that there was a positive correlation between higher penetration of Airbnb properties in an area - for example buildings containing multiple Airbnb lets - and a rise in violence. According to one study author, the correlation isn't due to Airbnb tourists falling prey to pickpockets, but rather the way the short-term rental service can push long-term residents out of neighbourhoods. Put simply, the researchers found that as homes transitioned to being used for short-term Airbnb rentals, the ability of a local community to police itself fell, leading to more crime taking place. This hypothesis is backed up by the fact that higher levels of violent crime did not appear immediately after Airbnb listings became available to tourists, but rather developed over the course of several years, the researchers said. Study author Diego Maldonado-Guzmán told Euronews Next that in Barcelona's case there were multiple likely explanations for the link between Airbnb and crime. Maldonado-Guzmán also suggested that Airbnb pushed up housing costs in city neighbourhoods, leading to poor relations between Airbnb users and long-term residents, while also eroding the ability of a neighbourhood to take care of itself.