Boston’s Airbnb Debate

Oct 19, 2016

Here we go again, folks. In a recent Boston Globe article about the growing chorus of local lawmakers upset by the website’s facilitation of commercial operators, Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk offered the following insight: “There are certainly difficult issues, and we’re not trying to avoid them.” He continued, “But we are asking that we...

Airbnb’s New Plan to Help Landlords Turn Apartments into Short-Term Rentals

Sep 23, 2016

If you can’t beat them, join them… or at least that’s what Airbnb seems to be thinking. Last week Airbnb announced a new plan (called, innocently, the “Airbnb Friendly Building Program”) that lets building owners work with Airbnb and tenants to set up short-term rentals in their units, Fortune reports. If you’re thinking, “This...

Another Day, Another Lawsuit

Aug 1, 2016

It’s always the same story with Airbnb. We’re above the law. Don’t pass that law, pass this law. We don’t want to follow the law. We already know they have a lawsuit in the works against their hometown of San Francisco to avoid complying with a law they helped write, but now they’re headed...

A Tale of Two Tax Deals

Jul 29, 2016

Airbnb has managed to procure sweetheart tax agreements in counties all over Florida. Brevard, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hendry, Hernando, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Levy, Madison, Okeechobee, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Sumter, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington, to be exact. But who’s counting? Now, Escambia and Santa Rosa...

4 Questions to Ask Airbnb About Their “Community Compact”

Jul 26, 2016

Airbnb isn’t exactly known for being transparent. (Editor’s Note: understatement of the century.) So if you’re debating whether or not to believe Airbnb’s “Community Compact,” try asking them a few questions and see how they answer. Short-term rentals like Airbnb have been illegal in cities like Richmond, Virginia for years, yet Airbnb flaunts the...

Music City Has an Illegal Hotel Problem

Jul 22, 2016

Only three percent of a specific area in Nashville’s Davidson County allows for short term rentals, but a TV investigation by Nashville’s Fox 17 found the actual number of commercial operators renting out units is more than three times that. Well, aren’t we surprised. A recent study of short-term rentals in 14 cities found...

Airbnb’s LA Tax Deal: Different City, Same Shady Playbook

Jul 19, 2016

Airbnb’s most recent attempt to subvert the efforts of community members and policy makers was on full display yesterday when it was announced that the company has convinced Los Angeles to agree to a special tax plan. Sidestepping the ongoing City Planning Commission process that is developing regulations on Short-Term Rental (STR) companies like Airbnb,...

Airbnb Works Against Working Families

Jul 16, 2016

Airbnb is making already-tight housing markets even harder for working families. But don’t just take it from us. New York Public Advocate Letitia James recently commented: “Airbnb’s practices are swallowing up affordable housing units.” This follows earlier comments James made about Airbnb’s complicity in the formation of illegal hotels. (Starting at 1:20.) As James...

Top Dems in Senate Call on FTC to Investigate Illegal Hotels

Jul 13, 2016

In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) urged the Commission “to conduct a review of commercial operators on short-term rental platforms.” The letter notes several concerns that further study by the FTC may help to address: We are concerned...

AH&LA Urges NY Governor to Sign Bill

Jul 12, 2016

Below is a letter that the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s CEO, Katherine Lugar, sent to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and Attorney General Schneiderman. The letter highlights a recent study conducted by researchers at Penn State University that shows that nearly a quarter (24%) of Airbnb’s revenue in the New York City area...