“If Airbnb didn’t exist, would my rent even be this high?”

Aug 2, 2017

The following article, originally posted in The Guardian, proves a point we’ve long made about Airbnb. We have no problem with hosts occasionally renting out a room in their home to make ends meet. Our concern is with commercial operators who exploit the system to dodge taxes and common sense safety rules. Illegal hotels...

California Dreams, Deferred: The Golden State’s Affordable Housing Crisis

Jul 28, 2017

The Golden State is slowly becoming a place where people can’t afford to live in the sunshine. Basically, there is no room left in California for the Californians – especially the working-class. As if we needed more evidence that reining in illegal short-term rental operators would help combat the housing crisis facing cities around...

Sharing Is Not Caring: The Hidden Downsides of a Shared Economy

Jul 19, 2017

By now we’ve all heard Airbnb’s much-refuted claims that it doesn’t affect affordable housing and simply helps middle-class families earn extra money. But in a recent op-ed for The Hill, Raoul Lowery Contreras writes that Airbnb and the short-term rental economy is actually “benefiting very few at the expense of many.” How, you ask?...

Airbnb’s Illegal Hotels: Strangers, Sickness and Short-Term Rentals

Jul 17, 2017

Airbnb’s been upfront about its efforts to professionalize its hosts. Less so about its efforts to help commercial operators to snatch up available housing stock in cities. Well, they’re at it again. And this time, they’re working with startups to help landlords turn vacant apartments into illegal hotels to game the system and make...

Thune’s Gig Economy Bill: A Step Toward Leveling the Playing Field

Jul 15, 2017

We’ve written before about the glaring issues that Airbnb has with paying taxes. New legislation proposed by Senator John Thune (R-SD) this week seeks to level the playing field by requiring companies that operate in the so-called “sharing economy” (including Airbnb) to report the earnings of millions of people. This would be a big improvement.

Another Troubling Chapter for Airbnb

Jul 14, 2017

According to officials with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, an Airbnb host who cancelled a guest’s reservation because the guest was Asian “has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and attend a college course in Asian-American studies.” This is just another instance of Airbnb’s guests facing discrimination on the platform. Why...

Hidden Risks to Summer Airbnb Rentals

Jul 13, 2017

According to a new survey by insurance company Assurant, “six out of 10 homeowners don’t know if their insurance policy covers short-term vacationers” and “about 40 percent don’t know who is responsible if a guest gets hurt on their property.” An article on CNBC about the survey called it a “surprise risk.” That’s not surprising to us. In...

One Way to Protect D.C.’s Affordable Housing? Crack Down on Airbnb’s Illegal Hotels

Jul 11, 2017

What if we told you there’s an easy way to help alleviate Washington, D.C.’s affordable housing crisis? There is. All it takes is cracking down on commercial operators buying up all the cheap housing in the District. According to a report by ShareBetter D.C., the majority of Airbnb rentals in Washington are listed by...

AirbnbWATCH Launches Washington, D.C. Chapter

Jul 6, 2017

The fight for common sense short-term rental regulations in D.C. has hit a fever pitch. This spring, D.C.’s Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against a property management company fostering illegal hotels. The City Council is on the verge of taking steps, with a meeting on July 11, to protect residents and guests...

Keeping Guests Safe in D.C.

Jun 30, 2017

At last, the Washington, D.C. city council is taking action on Airbnb’s less-than-stellar record on safety standards – and NBC Washington is taking notice. NBC correctly points out that “when you stay in a hotel in Washington, D.C., your accommodations must meet a long list of inspection standards. Federal law says hotels must have...