Airbnb owners who rent out all or part of their homes on platforms like Airbnb are finding that banks are far less enthusiastic about the sharing economy than travelers. Some hosts who rent out space in their primary residences have had more difficulty or have been rejected outright when it comes to refinancing home loans or lines of credit, the Wall Street Journal warns.
The Journal reported that it’s harder for homeowners to refinance, saying some Airbnb hosts have been subject to “additional scrutiny” when they sought to refinance their home loans, while some borrowers have been denied certain types of loans or have been charged higher interest rates.
Banks take issue with the Airbnb rentals because it blurs the line between a residential home and an investment property, according to the Journal. Historically, banks have learned that people are likelier to blow off paying the mortgage on an investment property if they can’t pay their bills. The problem for Airbnb hosts is that a lot of them aren’t renting out space in an investment property while they live somewhere else; the “investment property” is also their full-time home.
The irony, according to the Journal, is that a lot of people only find this out when they go to refinance, hoping to get a better rate because of the income boost their Airbnb hosting gives them.
Update: This story has been updated to clarify when Airbnb hosts have had trouble refinancing their homes.