The Neoliberal Tenant Dystopia: Digital Polyplatform Rentierism, the Hybridization of Platform-Based Rental Markets and Financialization of Housing




  • These platforms blur the boundaries between short-, medium- and long-term rentals, or between tourist and residential use. They increasingly become platforms for the transformation of property use and the hybridisation of rental markets, depending on the opportunity for rent extraction. Platforms make it easier to detect, at what time and under what circumstances, it is possible to offer the property use that maximiszes its economic performance. These dwellings constitute a form of floating residential housing supply. One week, a property might serve as a tourist apartment, but then be used as a temporary home for a student visiting the city for two semesters, then for a digital nomad who stays for two months, for a business woman who comes to the city for a week or even for a local resident who cannot find an apartment and uses the property as their main residence for a period of time. This leads to a decrease in specialisation, as rental platforms adapt their functions and create new products. As a result, an infrastructure is created to facilitate the continual transformation of housing uses. Owners transfer their properties between markets, leading to market and platform hybridisation. The main effect is that they find it easier to extract housing from the residential market and put it to other uses to increase the rents they generate. This process amplifies the exchange value of housing and the owners’ future profit expectations , enhancing the opportunities and means for the financialization of housing. (View Highlight)
  • If properties can be more easily switched from one use and market to another, there are more opportunities for landlords to keep their properties removed from the residential market. This reduces the supply of rental housing, but also influences the power dynamic between landlords and tenants – empowering the former and weakening the latter. (View Highlight)