Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Home-Sharing

Private property is a fundamental human right. It is impossible to imagine freedom of the press or religion for people who are prohibited from having printing presses or churches. America’s Founders understood this and referred to private property in the Constitution more than any other right.

In cases involving so-called “regulatory takings,” the government deprives owners of the right to use their property, without actually transferring legal title to the government. As a result, cities now routinely enact home-sharing regulations and bans without having to worry about paying owners for restricting property rights or justifying such regulations in court.

The Goldwater Institute attorneys have developed new draft legislation called the Property Ownership Fairness Act (POFA). For the rest of the nation, the POFA opens an opportunity for property owners to defend themselves against abuses by politically powerful lobbyists who stand to gain from taking away land or restricting the rights of its owners. Officials in numerous states aren’t doing residents—or travelers—any favors by slapping responsible taxpaying homeowners with large fines. Instead, they are limiting choices, hindering the tourism industry, and depriving people of the right to use their property as they see fit.

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