John Rolsen runs the Garth Woodside Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Hannibal and is President of Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri. He says he’s registered with the city as a lodging facility, meaning he collects and pays the same taxes and fees as a hotel. But, he’s concerned that’s not happening with many lodging facilities on Airbnb.
"You’re talking about in this area alone there’s like 43 different Airbnbs, there’s probably only about 12 bnbs that are really registered and whatnot," said Rolsen.
Airbnb says it expects people advertising its website and app to comply with local laws.
But, Rolsen says people could potentially still list their rooms even if they haven’t gone through the proper channels. city officials say they’ve recently heard concerns about this.
The Convention and Visitor’s bureau says if they’re made aware of someone in violation of local law, they’ll send them an informational packet in the mail.
Owners of downtown Airbnbs Lori Moddox say, if they’re made aware of the rules, they’re willing to play by them.
"I went through their website, filled out all their information. I knew I had to be up to city code so I talked to the city inspector, he came and inspected the place. I also fill out the paperwork monthly and pay taxes on it so I assume I was covering all the bases," said Maddox.
The Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri is planning a conference in Hannibal this November on how to start and run a bed and breakfast.