Airbnb Hosts Encounter New Foe: Banks

Those who list their homes on Airbnb to generate a little extra cash have a new foe, according to reports: banks.

Major banks are giving some Airbnb listers a harder time when it comes to refinancing their homes or qualifying for certain types of loans, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing customers who use Airbnb.

The banks are specifically having trouble classifying loans: are Airbnb rentals a principal residence or an investment property? The Journal points to one Airbnb host who thought his backyard rental cottage would help his bid to refinance earlier this year. Instead, Bank of America rejected his application because he's operating a business out of his home.

Banks are also concerned how the government will consider such properties and have stricter regulations in place for real estate investments. In some cases, according to the Journal, the banks err on the side of caution and decide to decline loans rather than risk a default on income from Airbnb.

Despite these issues, there is hope, the Journal says, as banks learn more about services like Airbnb and adapt to the gig economy.

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