Vacation Rentals: Cozy or Criminal?
Vacation rental apps are the new hotels. For any tourist, they offer a more authentic travel experience with cheaper rates, too.
But data from the LAPD shows that crimes that emerge from two people meeting over these rental services are on the rise—and in a big way.
In just the first eight months of 2018, there have already been 40 more crimes reported than last year that include the suspect being involved in a “temporary/vacation rental.” The LAPD gives “Airbnb” as a prime example of these services.
It’s no surprise that police are reporting these crimes more often. Vacation rental services are booming in Los Angeles, with many even using the money they make from rentals to fill out mortgage payments.
Even the city’s Planning Commission approved a measure in September to put a cap on short term rentals. It will prevent people from buying houses and running them like hotels.
Most often, when a crime is reported involving a vacation rental service, it’s a property crime:
But sometimes these crimes get violent.
Or April 29, 2018, a 23 year-old woman was victim to a robbery, according to LAPD reports. She was staying in a multi-unit dwelling—i.e. an apartment or housing complex—when the suspect forced entry into the room and made her lie down. In addition to demanding money and brandishing a tire iron, reports detail that the suspect also choked the victim. It was added that a suspected vacation rental space was involved.
This crime occurred in Hollywood, which is the most popular neighborhood for these sorts of crimes, by far:
|Top Neighborhoods for Vacation Rental Crime Reports: 2015-2018
|Hollywood Hills West||5|
This isn’t that surprising—Hollywood is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city.
Also unsurprising is the age of the victims in these crimes. In the robbery case, the victim was 23—old enough to be considered a member of the generation that popularized these services: millennials.
Millennials are generally considered to be between 14 and 36 years old.
As the vacation rental business continues its meteoric rise through the city, one thing is for sure: vacation rental crime isn’t slowing down either.
See more on how we organize our crime data here.
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Stay safe out there!