Is Airbnb David or Goliath?

The problem, he said, citing a report by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is that 72 percent of Airbnb listings in New York City are "illegal." This means the listings violate zoning, housing laws or tend to benefit commercial operators, who squeeze full-time residents out of affordable apartments to profit on short-term rentals. Read full article. 

Portland council vote sets stage for showdown with Airbnb, short-term rental brokers

Airbnb, the online broker for in-home, short-term rentals, said it was "disappointed" Portland's city council voted Wednesday to adopt rules requiring it to disclose who its hosts are and requiring them to register with the city. Read full article.  

Airbnb Begins National Ad Campaign

Airbnb spent big bucks to produce a gorgeous video that sells viewers on the warmth and adventure of home sharing. If only the video featured displaced families, skyrocketing rents, threats to public safety, noisy vacationer parties, and all the other hidden downsides to this friendly picture. Read full article. 

Geoffrey Palmer’s Medici in Downtown Los Angeles touts twenty-eight STRs

This letter to the LA City Council points out that Geoffrey Palmer‘s Medici properties – which he plans to expand with more “fauz-mediterannean” apartments nearby – already contains twenty-eight commercial short-term rentals. Read full article. 

A Liability Risk for Airbnb

Give their founders credit for this feat of mostly misplaced nomenclature. The companies help people sell rides in cars andrent stays in homes; they deserve no more credit for promotinga skill learned in preschool than Marriott or taxi companies.

But here’s one thing they do love to share: risk. Uber grew by heaping it on many drivers, asking them to push damage claims through their personal insurance companies while knowing that those companies did not cover commercial activity. Read full article. 

New York and San Francisco coalitions team up against Airbnb

Communities across the country are struggling with same problems caused by Airbnb and other illegal hotel operations,” Share Better spokesperson James Freedland said in a statement. “Housing is cannibalized, rents are rising, neighbors and landlords are at risk, laws are going unenforced and taxes uncollected. This is a nationwide phenomenon and that’s why we’re mounting a national campaign to hold scofflaws accountable. Read full article. 

The Business Tycoons of Airbnb

The so-called sharing economy is supposed to offer a new kind of capitalism, one where regular folks, enabled by efficient online platforms, can turn their fallow assets into cash machines. According to its fans, Airbnb, along with the car-sharing company Uber, and others, is leading us into a less wasteful, more virtuous future. In it, anyone with excess time or space — or a car and a driver’s license — can easily become an entrepreneur with little to no start-up costs. But the reality is that these markets also tend to attract a class of well-heeled professional operators, who outperform the amateurs — just like the rest of the economy. Read full article. 

How Airbnb makes cities less safe

Even worse, Airbnb puts strangers into homes but is indemnified by its users from any liability. This means the company doesn’t have to vet anyone. Criminal checks are not undertaken. Identities are not verified, normal practice in hotels. And regular maid and security services with entry privileges are not in place to safeguard others.

A burglar or a pedophile can rent a pad anywhere without questions asked. They can stay in your home, or building, and have access to residents, corridors, stairwells, gym, pool, locker rooms and lounges. Read full article. 

Airbnb Hires a New “Hospitality Director"

Conley’s hiring is intended to enhance Airbnb’s appeal at a time when it is trying to become a full-fledged hospitality business.

Conley and his hospitality team in San Francisco and Ireland must keep close tabs on Airbnb’s 800,000 hosts, who range from people who rent out extra rooms in their homes to mini real estate moguls who list a number of apartments.

At the startup’s annual executive retreat in Sonoma earlier this year, Chesky asked him where he wants to see Airbnb in 10 years. Conley’s response? I’d love to see us win the Nobel Peace Prize. (Yes, seriously.) Read full article. 

LA’s Underground Rental Market Hiking Up Rents

The NBC4 I-team reveals what’s becoming for many the nightmare next door: short term rentals growing in popularity. It’s a convenient way for homeowners to rent to tourists, who in turn, avoid hotels. But it also means lost tax revenue for the city and frustration for some neighbors who are fed up with the constant turnover. Colleen Williams reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. Read full article.