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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

The sharing economy or “new economy”1 has redefined consumption in the housing context in a manner that impacts traditional notions regarding home values and neighborhood integrity. Housing sharing allows owners to share some of the benefits of property ownership – namely use and enjoyment2 – while shifting some of the burdens of ownership – particularly, the economic burdens. With the advent of the sharing economy, there is a brewing conflict between this new economy and the realities of economic regulation. Thus, in the housing context, we see this conflict playing out in the tension between growing patterns of home sharing and existing regulations that prohibit such sharing. Many state and local governments, relying on their inherent police powers, regulate short-term housing. In particular, certain land use legislation overtly prohibits occupation by short-term renters. One prominent justification for such prohibitions is the maintenance of property values and neighborhood character.

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