Airbnb news of the week - July 15th
The EU has accused Airbnb of failing to comply with its rules on price transparency and has given the accommodation website until the end of August to find a solution or face enforcement action.
The European Commission (EC) this week admonished the San Francisco-based company for the way it initially presents the cost of a night’s accommodation without cleaning and service charges included. Users are only told of the additional fees when they have input their dates for booking.
It also said Airbnb must clearly show whether the accommodation listing is a private or professional host, as consumer protection rules differ accordingly.
THE New York City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to significantly restrict Airbnb and other online home rental services, joining a growing movement of cities around the globe in stepping up regulation of the so-called sharing economy.
The bill aims to prevent landlords and tenants from illegally renting out apartments for a few days at a time to tourists, a phenomenon that the city says has aggravated the housing crisis by making short-term rentals more profitable than long-term leases.
Online rental services like Airbnb and HomeAway would be required to provide the addresses and names of hosts to the city's Office of Special Enforcement every month and to note whether rentals are for a whole apartment or just a room.
You have questions about using Airbnb. As a superhost, I have answers.
I've heard from a number of would-be Airbnb-ers since launching the How-to Host column with Courier Journal a few months ago — folks who are interested in trying out home stays but leery of, you know, sleeping at a stranger's house. Others have already taken the leap and love to Airbnb when they travel, but shared their frustrations with the service or hosts or anything else, you name it.
TO WAKE up in an Airbnb apartment can be briefly disorientating. Where are you? The brushed steel, the exposed lightbulbs, the mid-century furnishings. The lively walls and bookshelves (a guide for hosts recommends accentuating “personality, not personal items”). The laminated guide to the neighbourhood, the English slightly askew and peppered with exclamation marks. The excellent Wi-Fi. You could be in Lisbon; but perhaps it is St Petersburg? The Verge, an online magazine, describes this Airbnb aesthetic as the “hallucination of the normal”, a phrase borrowed from Rem Koolhaas, a Dutch architect. That is why it can also offer the jaded traveller the sense of a home from home.