EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK, regulators are cracking down on Airbnb. In Paris, the company’s largest market, hosts must now register with the city government and can only list their homes for 120 nights each year. In Amsterdam, new rules, which go into effect in 2019, will restrict hosts to listing for just 30 nights annually. And after the Japanese government forced the home-sharing site to cancel reservations of unregistered hosts by June 15, Airbnb deactivated 80 percent of its Japanese listings overnight.
That’s why the partnership Airbnb announced last week with the real estate company Century 21 is so compelling. Now, Parisian renters can request Airbnb-friendly leases, which explicitly allow a renter to sublet an apartment on the platform. In return, the landlord and Century 21 get cuts of 23 percent and 7 percent of the host’s take, respectively. (Airbnb still takes its transaction fee.) In the press release, Laurent Vimont, president of Century 21 France, calls the partnership “a win-win for the owner.”
After two years of negotiations, Alachua County is on the brink of agreeing on a deal that would allow Airbnb to collect the county’s bed tax for its hosts. The bed tax is a 5%, county-imposed tax levied on guests staying in the area that applies to any short-term rental of a living space. Airbnb rentals fall under this umbrella.
However, according to Assistant County Manager Gina Peebles, Airbnb hosts have not been paying this tax, unlike local hotels and motels. Tom Martinelli, head of public policy for Airbnb in Florida, said that the hosts who don’t pay the tax often don’t do so because they either don’t know the tax exists or don’t know how to remit the tax.
The couple that claimed they were kicked out of their Northland Airbnb for being in a naked in a spa pool were in a "shared" - not private - area of the property, according to Airbnb. Lauren Eve said the hosts at the lodge in Paihia "went off" at her and her partner after discovering them naked in a spa pool they believed was private.
Eve said the "house rules" on the lodge's listing said nothing about forbidding nudity. She claims a nudity clause was added after the couple stayed there in June. However, an Airbnb spokesperson said the hosts, who have not responded to requests for comment, made it clear "in the house rules and in a separate message to the guests that the spa was in a shared area and was only to be booked for one hour".
My husband and I have been travelling for the last 15 months, booking accommodation through Airbnb and Booking.com. Downsides of Airbnb? The quality does vary enormously, and you certainly can't rely on the reviews. Our one horror story - two nights in a private room in Saskatoon, Canada - had great reviews but dramatically failed to live up to them.
Our room was cramped, bed linen didn't look too fresh, and it quickly became obvious that the room we were occupying belonged to a lodger who, drunk and rambling, fell asleep on a couch just outside our room.
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