Airbnb regulation – fortune

In a moment of peace-making with regulators, Airbnb on Wednesday released a set of policy suggestions for governments that are considering new laws for home- and apartment-renting.

The document, which comes on the heels of concessions with cities including New York City, offers suggestions for collecting lodging taxes from Airbnb hosts, strategies to allow residents to rent their home without offending neighbors, suggestions on limiting the number of nights a home can be rented and setting up a permitting system.

The document is “a resource for governments to consider as they draft or amend these rules,” the company said in a blog post.

Hotel agon berlin “We want to work with lawmakers to get this right.”

The report is the latest conciliatory gesture from Airbnb, a San Francisco-based online lodging service that investors value at $30 billion. Park hotel blub berlin This week, the company also agreed to drop a lawsuit against New York City over a new short-term rental law and enforce rental restrictions in the key markets of London and Amsterdam.

The string of concessions mark an about-face from the startup’s previous strategy of either ignoring regulators or outright defying them. Berlin hotel vier jahreszeiten That strategy resulted in an intensifying global battle with regulators from which Airbnb now appears to be backing down.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky has said that the company was slow to engage with cities on the business model and potential implications to neighborhoods and rental markets. Hotel in berlin mit parkplatz Critics in cities with tight housing markets such as New York and San Francisco say that Airbnb enables landlords to evict people and convert their apartments into short-term rentals, which takes affordable housing off the market and drives up rental prices.

“The vast majority of activity on Airbnb is by ordinary people making median income,” Chesky said in an interview with Reuters last month at an Airbnb conference. Berlin hotel charlottenburg “I did not anticipate and appreciate there would be so many property management companies and unscrupulous landlords that would list so many properties (on Airbnb) in some cities. Berlin hotel michelberger That is a problem.”

On May 1 st of this year, Berlin enacted a uniquely broad law limiting short-term apartment rentals, which had exploded thanks to AirBnB and similar platforms. Berlin hotel meininger The practice was seen as putting additional pressure on the city’s already-strained housing market, as more than 14,000 apartments were devoted to short-term rentals prior to the law’s enactment.

In a lengthy new report, CityLab finds that the results of the ban have so far been uneven. Grand hotel berlin Airbnb listings still show plenty of vacation apartments available in Berlin. Design hotel berlin mitte In fact, they’ve slightly increased after cratering when the law was announced.

In part, that’s because enforcement of the law has been gradual. Berlin hotel lichtenberg Under the law, those who run vacation rentals in apartments where they don’t also reside face fines of over $100,000. Berlin hotel But they receive two warning letters, which they can appeal, before having to go to court. L hotello berlin One Berlin leader told Citylab that hundreds of cases under the new law are in progress, and will “send a strong message” when they result in convictions.

In the meantime, one community activist told Citylab that his neighborhood, Wilhelmstrasse, has seen little relief from the tourist takeover since the law went into effect. Berlin berlin hotel berlin Longtime residents have continued to be squeezed out by a high concentration of dedicated vacation rental units, and noise, trash, and other tourist misbehavior continue to be a problem.

At the same time, the law has irked some Berlin residents by limiting their ability to rent an extra room, or rent their apartment while they travel elsewhere. Berlin hotel budapest One told Citylab he’s being treated as “collateral damage” of a law primarily intended to shut down large-scale operators of units used only for short-term rental.

When the law went into effect, it was expected to return as many as 10,000 apartments to the residential rental market. Berlin hotel zentral Those results haven’t appeared yet either, though it’s too soon to judge if they eventually will. Berlin mitte hotel With cities from Barcelona to San Francisco to New York moving to limit Airbnb activity, city governments worldwide will be watching carefully.

In a conciliatory gesture to lawmakers and residents, Airbnb will begin identifying and removing hosts who are breaking the law in San Francisco. Berlin hotel johann The users it’s targeting are those who maintain multiple listings but are not licensed hotel operators, which according to SFGate amounts to 7% of listings and 17% of host revenue in the city.

Airbnb originated as a platform for private homeowners to rent out an extra bedroom, or let someone use their apartment while they were away. Motel 1 berlin But its success has attracted more and more commercial operators, including some who buy properties for the exclusive purpose of renting them out on Airbnb.

In many cases, that’s illegal—aside from hotels, San Francisco only allows permanent residents offering their own home to rent to short-term visitors. Hotel berlin stadtmitte And with San Francisco in the midst of a housing crisis that is both comical and tragic, Airbnb has been accused of adding even more pressure to the market. Hotel stadtmitte berlin The company has lobbied extensively against laws that would have restricted its operations, and its new steps towards internal due diligence may help stave off harsher regulations in the future.

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