Airbnb’s New York Problem

They say it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but if you’re Airbnb you have a long track record of choosing neither option.

As Airbnb has grown from in 2010 to the $30 billion company it is today, it “quickly drew the ire of everyone from hotel unions to affordable housing advocates” in New York City, as reported by Mashable.

“It came to a head last summer, when the state of New York voted to strike a blow to the heart of Airbnb. Yes, tenants were technically not allowed to rent apartments, but that had done little stem the platform’s growth. So Albany lawmakers decided to go after the platform itself.”

This has been the story of Airbnb for years now. It knows the laws, it just refuses to enforce them with its users.  All while claiming no responsibility.

According to Airbnb, when “New York listings are filled with instructions to pick up a key in an apartment lobby — but don’t mention Airbnb” it’s not the company’s fault, it’s just an online platform not liable for its users. Yet, when faced with reasonable regulations to rein in commercial operators, suddenly Airbnb is a force for good, “democratizing capitalism” to save the middle class.

Lucky for New York, they got wise to their tricks early and are enforcing common sense regulations in the city. Not so lucky for Airbnb, Mashable found that several “other cities that are growing in dissatisfaction with the company’s rapid takeover are watching for tips on how to fight their own battles.”

Good luck to them; Airbnb’s been known to bully.