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Thank you random guy calling in to local talk radio for restoring some of my faith in humanity

In Knoxville, there is an issue with AIRBNB. The local press nonsensically throws words out about it like “regulate” and “complicated”. It’s not complicated and they don’t want to regulate anything. The city wants your money. Money that they would collect had these people stayed at hotels. And they also want the handful of busybodies to stop calling and complaining about “illegal bed and breakfasts”. Seriously, renting out your property is an illegal bed and breakfast.

The local talk radio show had a segment on it. And a caller called in. The host breathlessly asks the caller something to the effect of: “Well, what if one of these was operating in your neighborhood?”

To which random guy calling in to local talk radio replied, roughly: “Why do you think it’s any of my damned business?”

Bravo, Sir. More of this please. The world needs fewer people who can’t mind their own business. It’s a small group. But they seem to show up.

10 Responses to “Thank you random guy calling in to local talk radio for restoring some of my faith in humanity”

  1. JTC Says:

    So, a guy rents out his yard for truck and equipment storage, some of the tenants do some open-air garage work, pulling a Cummins, draining the fluids, testing his work sans mufflers. Just a private property owner trying to make a buck.

    But if that yard is next door to yours he impacts your privacy, your safety, your peace of mind, and your property value.

    I’m all for private property rights and freedom from gov regulation and intrusion. But when his rights trample mine, all bets are off.

    Think similar negative effects can’t come of the neighbor renting to a crowd of spring-breakers instead of truckers? Think again. Nothing wrong with zoning control in a residential neighborhood. Yes, gov wants tax money, but that is just an offshoot of citizens needing to control their own surroundings and rights.

  2. Mike Says:

    AirBnB is my first choice when looking for a place to stay when I traveled. Recently went to Ottawa for 2 weeks and found a brand new (it was literally in a development still under construction) 2-1.5 townhouse for about $100 a night, with a full kitchen, washer/dryer,garage, etc. It’s great when you’re traveling with in-laws and a baby. You couldn’t get similar space and amenities at a hotel for three times the money.

    As far as rowdy spring breakers, etc., that’s just speculation, my friends who rent out space on AirBnB haven’t found that to be an issue. Most of the time, you would never know they were there.

  3. Ken in NH Says:


    Which or your rights is he trampling? Your right to see a nice manicured lawn on someone else’s property? If his tenants truly violate the peaceful enjoyment of your property then let’s address those violations, such as the noise or effluent. And “property value” is just a substitute for “I don’t like it”. No one has a right to a particular property value. Who will the people of Houston sue for their property value when no one will buy out their flooded lot for as much as they paid for it? Perhaps they should institute ordinances banning excessive rain and storm surges.

  4. Jay Eimer Says:

    Could be worse. Tulsa city council says AirBnB is totally illegal in their city limits per ordinance. They site “zoning violations” rather than the hotel tax, which is creative. Of course, zoning (or code enforcement) would probably how a city would shut down the front-yard mechanic, too.

  5. mikee Says:

    AirBnB, if not abused, is one of the nicest ways to have rentals in your home. The problem here in Austin, TX, is twofold.

    First, the city wants to wet not just its beak with taxation, but to get in the bath with the houseowners through licensing and over-regulation.

    Second, the largest draws for AirBnB are for partygoers and festival participants who are determined to make the neighbors call the cops every night, every hour from 11:00pm to 4:00am, for two straight weeks during SXSW. That sort of thing if not stopped leads to arson, eventually, which is annoying to the neighbors who have to do it.

  6. divemedic Says:

    @JTC If you want to use “property value” as an excuse, there is no limit to what your neighbors can force you to do with your property. Which of course means that it is no longer YOUR property.

  7. Blue Falcon in Boston Says:

    Issue with AirBNB is when absentee landlords turn condominiums and entire buildings into essentially hotels or transient rooming houses. It kills the quality of life for the other long term residents/owners in the buildings or neighborhoods with the frequent turnover. The other issue is massive market distortion via real estate speculation in cities caused by landlords ceasing to offer long term leases in favor of AirBNB money. Housing shortages in tight rental markets get worse and rents get exponentially higher when former rental units become AirBNB only.

    I can see a city maybe limiting AirBNB to owner occupied properties only to keep the quality of life and real estate speculation issues in check. Anything else though is going to turn into a massive money grab and assault on property rights.

  8. JTC Says:

    The basis of little “l” libertarianism is the freedom to do as you please…

    Until yours interferes with mine. In a perfect world no rules would be needed but those of common decency and mutual respect. But the comments of mikee and blue falcon illustrate how well that works…and even a cursory google search will show the extent of the issue.

    And fwiw the truck storage/repair analogy was not just theoretical. Human nature dictates that some community controls are necessary to defend the rights of the many from the abuses of the few, and of course gov involvement often leads to abuses of its own.

    It’s always easy to champion unfettered freedom, but even among those like most here who bristle at any regulation or control by third party entities like gov, attitudes change quickly when nimby kicks in.

    Among all of the restrictions imposed on personal choices and behaviors by elected or chosen representatives, zoning is one of the few necessary evils for which the case can be made in order to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the many, albeit at the expense of the few.

  9. Patrick Says:

    I own two duplexes in a well-known tourist area in Florida, and got to deal with the local tyrants who hate everyone other than their daily bridge partners. They have passed moratoriums on building permits – ANY permit to renovate or rebuild – in residential areas. Nothing.

    Your roof caves in from a storm? Tough shit. They hate you and the new house you will build in place of that 85 year old shack you currently own.

    As one of the city building officials told me, “they get their little slice of paradise and the first thing they do is try to lift the drawbridge and keep everyone away.”

    I’m all for ensuring that a junkyard doesn’t move in next door. But they equate that with fixing an old house. It’s disgusting, and in two months I get to sue the shit out of them for economic loss under Florida law.

  10. JTC Says:

    VFTP has a link in lieu of content today that does a pretty good job of explaining why and how the existence of a “social contract” transcends pure libertarian ideals:

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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