Conflicts in the Sharing Economy: Growing Pains for Airbnb and Others

There is no reason that creative business models can’t be regulated. In the case of apartment sharing and Airbnb, which has sparred with regulators in New York, officials should crack down on clearly illegal activity that makes it harder for people to find permanent housing, but allow more benign forms of apartment sharing. Read full article. 

Ed Lee OKs Short Term Rentals as Opponents Organize Repeal

We’re definitely going to the ballot in 2015,’ said Dale Carlson, a PR professional who joined with housing activistCalvin Welch and former Planning Commissioner Doug Engmann to craft the initiative. ‘The only question is whether we go with what we have now, or something else.’

Depending on how the measure is crafted, it could earn the support of one of Lee’s most famous backers, U.S. Sen.Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has publicly voiced her disapproval of the legislation Lee signed. Read full article. 

Airbnb Warns WeHo Apartment Renters to Follow City Laws

With so-called ‘shared economy’ businesses under study now by a city task force, Airbnb has posted an advisory on its website reminding owners and tenants of West Hollywood apartments that they must follow city regulations regarding short-term rentals.

Following those regulations, however, would take most of the West Hollywood apartments listed on Airbnb off the market. Those regulations effectively ban any apartment or home rentals for fewer than 30 days. Read full article. 

Dropbox, Airbnb, and the Fight Over San Francisco’s Public Spaces

In the video, a group of adults—mostly white males—approach a dozen or so Latino teen-agers and ask them to forfeit the field. A college student named Kai, who seems to be the leader of the neighborhood kids, explains the pickup rules (seven on seven, no time limit, whoever scores first keeps the field) and asks the men how long they’ve lived in the neighborhood. ‘Who gives a shit? Who cares about the neighborhood?,’ one of the men mutters off-screen. Read the full article. 

Airbnb Accused of Illegally Lobbying for Favorable Legislation

Airbnb is proving itself to the quite the political operator. In an ethics complaint filed today in San Francisco, Airbnb has been accused using off-the-books lobbyists to help push legislation that legalized the startup.

The complaint—filed by The League of Pissed Off Voters, a San Francisco progressive organization—is a response to legislationfavorable towards Airbnb passed by the city earlier this month.Records show that Airbnb helped city Supervisor David Chiu begin authoring the legislation 22 months before it went to a vote. Read full article. 

Portland Mayor Proposes Legislation to limit Short-Term Rental Abuse

Three meetings of a working group in Portland and voila! A proposed ordinance for multi-unit buildings. The ordinance spells out the requirement that the operator must live in the unit rented, and requires a licensing process that involves notifying neighbors and getting permission from HOAs.

This should let residents rent out rooms on occasion, but not entire units year-round. It seems to be a step in the right direction. Read full article. 

Dianne Feinstein Says: Don’t hand San Francisco over to Airbnb

It’s no secret that San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in which to live. The legislation approved by the board will encourage property owners and renters to vacate their units and rent them out to hotel users, further increasing the cost of living.

Simply put, this bill will further increase already sky-high rental costs. Read full article. 

Let’s ask Garcetti, Feuer and Bonin to take action to stop the onslaught of illegal hotels in Los Angeles

Well, it looks like they finally got it right in New York. Let’s show this article to Garcetti, Feuer, and Bonin and ask them why they aren’t taking similar action in Los Angeles:

“amid pressure from elected officials and the Hotel Trades Council, the administration has quietly ramped up efforts to crack down on rentals that violate the law.”

We can put similar pressure on our city officials. Keep spreading the word. Read full article. 

Most Airbnb Listings in New York are Illegal, State Says

The report will say nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in the city are illegal, violating zoning or other laws. Commercial operators, not hard-luck residents, supply more than a third of the units and generate more than a third of the revenue. At least a handful of landlords are running what amount to illegal hostels. Read full article. 

Number of Available Apartments in LA is Falling Dramatically

Last week, the 2014 USC Casden Multifamly Forecast informed us that median rent in Los Angeles County had shot up to $1,716 in the second quarter of 2014, making for the biggest annual rent increase in four years. What makes that especially shocking is that, in that same period from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014, more new housing units opened in LA County (more than 7,500) than at any other time in the last four years. It’s simply not enough—the vacancy rate in the county has actually plummeted since last year, falling 10.8 percent since last year, to just 3.3 percent. Read full article.