All short-term rent operators must meet hygiene standards and cleaning requirements for Massachusetts safety standards and checklists: lodging operators. The first point is to see the benefits that this market offers to homeowners and investors. The success of short-term rents is explained not only by the fact that visitor rentals allow landowners to generate more income than permanent residents, but also – and in some cases especially – a number of benefits inherent in the flexibility of this market. This flexibility means having control of the assets. The short-term rental market allows landlords to take advantage of rental income, while selling, using or abandoning the market directly if they wish. Another advantage of this asset control is that the maintenance of the property is constant, as it is possible to check the condition of the dwellings each week; tourists pay ahead; and that the high fluctuation of “tenants” allows landlords to constantly speculate on rental prices. In other words, landlords consider the traditional rental market to be “too rigid” for simply having long-term tenants. This is a vision shared by both local property owners and international investors. In this sense, the flexibility of holiday apartments is a central point in the current context, where housing is considered a financial asset. As in many other countries, the response to the crisis in Portugal in 2008 was to approve several programmes aimed at attracting international capital offering tax advantages to real estate investments. In these cases, the main reason to invest in housing is to deposit capital and then decide on the use of the house or to leave it directly empty.
In our work we have found a consensus in which the home on the tourist market is always the best option for this type of investor, as they can use the house when they visit the destination or sell it without tenants when they find a good opportunity. Ultimately, the short-term rental market significantly increases the possibility of housing speculation. It is a neoliberal utopia that represents a new turning point in the vulnerability and insecurity of groups for whom the rental market is the only option to access housing. While the flexibilization and deregulation of the rental market were important neoliberal strategies to give more “security” to property owners and supposedly improve the efficiency of the market, the tourism market simply ignores any law on leasing, however flexible, by strengthening the neoliberal paradigm and strengthening the asymmetry of power between the owner and the occupier.