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Airbnb Settles With San Francisco in a Win-Win

Image: Airbnb Settles With San Francisco in a Win-Win

Clean-up of a bedroom in the Las Vegas home of an Airbnb host. More than 340,000 people passed on Nevada's hotel rooms last year, opting instead to book a place to stay using the home-sharing service Airbnb. The $47 million in revenue that hosts took in is a loss for the state's hospitality industry that one expert says will only increase if not addressed. (John Locher/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 May 2017 03:06 PM

On its website, Airbnb describes itself as “a community built on sharing,” while also claiming, “millions of hosts and travelers choose to create a free Airbnb account so they can list their space and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world.”

The online community rental marketplace also says, “Airbnb helps make sharing easy, enjoyable, and safe.”

But behind that rosy world of travel rentals are accusations by some that Airbnb openly disregards housing laws, while simultaneously sending the inventory of available sale or extended term rentals downward, in a given community.

To fight back against these accusations, Airbnb has filed its own legal actions against both New York and San Francisco, claiming that the cities’ inequitable housing/rental laws unduly restrict its hosts.

The New York Times reports, in two recent articles, that Airbnb has recently resolved one such claim; an action it had taken against San Francisco. This resulted from the City by the Bay’s decision — courtesy of its city council — to levy fines against Airbnb at the rate of “$1,000 a day for every unregistered host on its service,” according to the Times. Airbnb sued to prevent those fines from kicking in.

Under the terms of the settlement Airbnb will provide an increased level of transparency regarding the hosts utilizing the online platform.

Yet, with the current settlement, Airbnb as well as “other online room rental companies,” will aggregate information from those who rent out their residences for periods less than 30 days.

In turn, San Francisco will utilize that data to both carefully examine and register hosts.

This latest turn of events for Airbnb and San Francisco is a win-win. Airbnb unloads the threat of major litigation, something the company may wish to do, considering it has voiced a desire to go public.

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Behind the rosy world of travel rentals are accusations by some that Airbnb openly disregards housing laws.
airbnb, online, san francisco
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2017-06-02
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 03:06 PM
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