Locals look to cash in on inauguration with Airbnb rentals

WASHINGTON — The old saying goes “make hay while the sun shines.” In the case of Airbnb renters in the Washington area, it’s more like “make big money the week Donald Trump is sworn in as the next president.”

A look at Airbnb rentals in D.C. shows that rental prices the week of the presidential inauguration are, in some cases, 10 times the normal rate.

For example, a Logan Circle one-bedroom apartment rents for $175 a night next week. But another one-bedroom Logan Circle apartment is being offered the week of the inauguration at more than $1,900 a night.

“We’re looking to make somewhere between $1,800 and $2,400 a night for our three-bedroom apartment,” said a U Street corridor apartment renter who asks to be identified by only his first name, Kyle, because he said it’s unclear to him and his roommates whether the short-term subletting is allowed in his D.C. luxury high-rise.

Airbnb offers a shared room in a Southwest high-rise for $79 a night next week. But inaugural week, a shared room near Columbia Heights is being offered for $623 per night. The priciest rentals are in D.C.

“The location is the No. 1 thing. We’re right next to a Metro,” Kyle said.

In Virginia, short-term rentals are prohibited in Fairfax County, and require a special zoning exception. Arlington County legalized Airbnb rentals in all residential neighborhoods, effective New Year’s Eve, meeting the county’s goal of having plans in place in time for the Jan. 20 inauguration.

There are numerous Airbnb listings in Alexandria, particularly in the Del Ray neighborhood and in Old Town.

Montgomery County was the first jurisdiction in Maryland to demand that Airbng guests pay hotel taxes. Some Prince George’s County Airbng listings highlight their proximity to the new MGM Grand Casino.


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