Problems at Home for Airbnb

Airbnb’s hometown thought it had finally come to an understanding with the short-term rental platform. Apparently not.

Even the current regulation, which “became known as the ‘Airbnb law’ for its friendliness to the company” isn’t enough for Airbnb.

Now Airbnb is suing San Francisco over whether it should have to help enforce the law that it helped pass.

“Airbnb is challenging a very modest law,” David Campos, a member of the board of supervisors who was co-author of the recently passed enforcement law said. “In so doing, Airbnb is proving that it wants to play by its own rules, that it believes that it is entitled to something no business has, absolute freedom to operate free of responsibility and oversight. It’s their way or the highway.”

Airbnb’s lawsuit is only the latest in a string of fights between the company and San Francisco. History has shown that even Airbnb’s own CEO Brian Chesky can’t be trusted to follow the city’s rules. Earlier this year Chesky was caught red-handed still renting his home on Airbnb after failing to register with the city nearly a year after the requirement was passed, so why are we surprised?

Airbnb would rather put all the blame on its users. Their lawsuit against the city of San Francisco states: “Instead of punishing Airbnb for publishing unlawful listings, the city could enforce its short-term rental law directly against hosts who violate it.”

The short-term rental ordinance that passed last week in Chicago also depends on Airbnb’s cooperation for enforcement. If Airbnb is fighting against enforcing a law it had helped create in San Francisco, what should we expect in Chicago?

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