Local government and states prohibit employees from using shared services like Airbnb for official government travel. The cost of government restricts the sharing economy because some individuals and businesses that provide shared services such as lodging rentals do not follow regulatory requirements or pay the associated costs mandated by the State.
Official lodging does not allow any accommodation to vacation rental sites. If employees want to reimburse their stay in a distant place for official business purposes, they must find a place that complies with the specific criteria of Joint Travel Regulations.
Criteria of Joint Travel Regulations
Most vacation rental homes and sites do not adhere to specific government procedures. The accommodation provider must follow the guidelines of the United States Fire Administration.
The following are the criteria to meet:
- The lodging must comply with the protocols of the Fire Administration for safety purposes. The majority of people who list their houses on vacation rental websites have not had their properties examined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- You must reserve accommodation through the Defense Travel System or the agency’s travel management company. Vacation rental sites are not part of the official DTS or TMC.
- Lodging receipts must be detailed and itemized, including daily accommodation costs, taxes, and other extra costs. Most rental online sites do not go into specifics and lump taxes and additional fees together. There is no breakdown of the expenditure during the stay daily.
- Actual TQSE Expense (AE) – The TQSE (AE) refund in full at the standard per diem rate in effect in the Continental United States (CONUS) at the time of travel.
- TQSE One-Time Payment – TQSE one-time payment is compensated based on the local area rate in effect when the management accepts the report for the travel period, whether it is at the old or new work location.
- Permission of reimbursement of TLE is for the immediate area of the old or new Permanent Duty Station (PDS); They do not allow resident hunting.
- TLE reimbursement’s restriction is up to 10 days for a PCS from any point in the United States only.
- TLE Reimbursement is restricted to 5 days for PCS out of Continental United States PDS
Airbnb offers a receipt with a zero balance; however, they do not list government or room tax. They instead list a ‘service’ and a ‘sanitizing’ fee.
Is Airbnb Commercial Lodging?
Airbnb is not considered a commercial lodging facility by the Data Travel Management Office, according to CG-1332. Airbnb, therefore should not be used for any official government accommodation.
Airbnb is a non-conventional lodging as it does not meet the requirements of fire safety standards. Houses listed on the vacation rental website is not a commercial building, and primarily the properties registered on the platform broadly fall under residential zoning.
Online booking platforms like Airbnb, at times, do not fully adhere to specific requirements for them to fall into the category of commercial accommodation. Hosts were typically listing their properties on the website and tagged as for residential use only.
What is Lodging
Lodging uses a temporary residence, usually through the living space rental, but sometimes through another setup.
People traveling and spending more than just a day away from home require accommodation for sleep, rest, food, safety, shelter from extreme cold or rain, suitcase storage, and access to regular household features.
A commercial lodging establishment is a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house, or other similar dwelling that offers lodging to the general public for a fee.
Many states and territories have regulations affecting commercial lodging. Acquiring business permits, paying transient occupancy tax, and adhering to building, metropolitan area, and zoning standards are examples of those prerequisites.
Is Renting Considered a Commercial Activity?
Rentals are not a commercial activity. Renting on a short-term basis, such as using Airbnb, is a residential rather than commercial.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has merged other courts in ruling that temporary home rentals violate a covenant prohibiting “commercial activity.” Suppose a house is residential and in a zone positioning that prohibits commercial activities. In that case, all vacation rental sites such as those with Airbnb hosts in that area technically violate the law.
Even though the rental property is a business that generates income, it is often not considered commercial.
Real Estate on Commercial and Residential Use
When it comes to Real Estate, the term commercial refers to how a town, county, or State classifies the land. The term “zoning,” done at the local scale, helps determine whether one area versus another is considered Commercial, Residential, or Industrial, as well as everything or any combination.
Local zoning offices assign these areas, and the law governs what you can and cannot do on the property. They determine the terms by the property’s location and intended use.
When people are legally permitted to live in a property and rent it out for those purposes, it is considered residential. It is commercial when you rent out a property to conduct business.
What is A commercial activity?
A “commercial activity” refers to either a predictable pattern of commercial behavior or a specific business transaction or act. An activity’s commercial character is due to the nature of the course of action or particular dealings or acts. It does not dwell on its sole intent.
Commercial activity is profit-making action, such as selling furniture through a storefront or a cafe. In a broader sense, this kind of activity can include the sale of goods, services, food, or supplies.
Does Airbnb Do Military Discounts?
Airbnb does not offer military discounts across all bookings. Airbnb cannot compel all hosts to maintain the significant army markdown on prices.
The business does not establish any of the price levels. The host controls every rental and accommodation because they’re the ones that decide the price of their home.
The political, economic, and logistical repercussions of providing a global military discount become complicated. It would be hard to arrange a discount for only American military personnel. This act is particularly actual for service members who intend to travel internationally.
There is still no up-to-date announcement about whether the booking platform can now offer a military discount.
Does Airbnb Reimburse the Military?
Airbnb reimburses the military with a full refund. Military occurrences for refunds fall under the extenuating circumstances policy.
Military interventions and provocations include war, civil strife, invasions, civil war, terrorist acts, explosions, bomb attacks, insurgencies, violent protests, insurrections, civil disorder, and civil unrest.
This event may cause the policy to allow the guest to withdraw. It has control over and takes precedence over the reservation’s cancellation policy.
Guests who are significantly affected by an event encased by these extenuating circumstances may cancel their reservation and obtain a complete refund, travel credit, and other considerations, based on the circumstances.
Hosts who are negatively affected by an event enclosed by this policy may cancel without penalty. Still, their schedules may be blocked for the dates of the postponed reservation, depending on the situation.
Can I Use Airbnb for TQSE?
Airbnb may be used for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense (TQSE) if approved by the regional bureau following the appropriate procedure. Airbnb falls into a non-conventional lodging category under state policy.
Airbnb falls on the non-conventional accommodation that you can use for TQSE. For this policy, under the 14 FAM 572.3-2 clause, they will consider having alternative accommodation in some cases. The rate should be in line with the standard advertised price.
There are no conventional lodging establishments in the area, such as those in remote areas. Also, when traditional accommodations are in short supply due to an influx of people attending a special event like in a world’s fair or international sporting event, they will reimburse the traveler for the cost of other types of lodging like those of Airbnb.
Such accommodation includes college living quarters or similar facilities and rooms that are not commercially available but are made available to the public in the dwellings of area residents.
What Is Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses (TQSE)
TQSE is a concessional allowance designed to reimburse workers for some of the costs of momentary lodging, food, and other necessary items while at the old or new work location. Their agency will determine the TQSE’s authorization.
Two TQSE methods may be permitted:
They based the refund on actual expenses incurred up to the daily maximum. The paid duration is from Days 31 through 120 at 75% of the standard per diem rate. Initially, up to 60 consecutive days may be authorized but are not needed. If appropriate, your agency’s Authorizing Official (AO) can certify extensions of up to 60 days.
The employee obtains 75% of the daily locality rate, and each dependent receives 25% of the daily locality rate. TQSE one-time payment can they authorized for a maximum of 30 days.
Can I use Airbnb for TLE?
You can use Airbnb for Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE). First, you need to secure a letter of non-availability of a government lodging facility in your area. Then, up to the government rate, your bookings will be repaid.
Airbnb and other booking platforms are eligible to be a lodging option for the relocation of military people in some cases approved by the regulatory board. The temporary lodging expense is given to military members moving within the United States.
Because the TLE is for lodging reimbursement, the government agency responsible for military moving needs to know that you need to book a hotel or other accommodation facilities, such as an Airbnb. Ensure to have a receipt that shows you paid your balance in full when you check out.
Such accommodation receipts are “zero-balance receipts,” indicating that you owe nothing.
What is TLE?
Temporary Lodging Expense is a stipend designed to reimburse members for lodging and meal expenses incurred by a member or dependent(s) while occupying temporary lodging in the Continental United States (CONUS) in connection with a PCS move.
Eligibility for TLE:
TLE is limited to $290 per day.
How Do I Claim TQSA?
You may claim your Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (TQSA) by submitting the SF-1190, Foreign Allowances Application, Grant, and Report, the TQSA Actual Expense Worksheet, and copies of accommodation receipts via the DoDEA Allowance Processing System (DAPS) to your agency.
You should make your first submission during the first ten days in temporary housing. You will receive a refund for the receipts you raised in your next paycheck, as well as an approximate biweekly amount of TQSA in subsequent wages until you submit the final SF -1190 worksheets and receipts to end your TQSA.
At that point, the management in charge will compare the sum of TQSA obtained to the amount you are permitted based on your receipts, and the payroll office will make any necessary adjustments to your pay.
What is a Temporary Quarters Subsidence Allowance (TQSA)
TQSA is to aid with temporary accommodation, foods, washing clothes, and dry cleaning in a foreign area. The allowance is for an employee who arrives at a new post for the first time and stable quarters are not yet available, or when an employee is getting ready to leave the foreign post indefinitely and must depart residential quarters.
Authorized Period of TQSA
TQSA is permitted for not more than 90 days following the first arrival at a new post of assignment in a foreign area, closing with the occupation of residence quarters, if sooner, or 30 days instantaneously preceding final exit from the post following required vacating of domicile quarters.