'It’s only a matter of time until something terrible happens,' The New York Times’s Ron Lieber wrote in a 2012 piece examining Airbnb’s liability issues. My family’s story — a private matter until now — is that terrible something.Writer Zak Stone about a tragic family death and the lack of regulations and liability in the sharing economy at the example of Airbnb.
The rating game: How Uber and its peers turned us into horrible bosses. Josh Dzieza writes about how customer rating systems for "sharing economy" on-demand services like Uber, Airbnb and Taskrabbit has made already tenuous employment even more precarious. "We’re not just working for money," an Uber driver told me. "We’re working for ratings, but ratings have no value. Ratings serve only to prevent you from getting fired. Only bad things can happen to you. We’re scurrying like rats after these things with no value." [more inside]
Houston Voters Reject Broad Anti-Discrimination Ordinance [The New York Times]
A yearlong battle over gay and transgender rights that turned into a costly, ugly war of words between this city’s lesbian mayor and social conservatives ended Tuesday as voters repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance that had attracted attention from the White House, sports figures and Hollywood celebrities. The City Council passed the measure in May, but it was in limbo after opponents succeeded, following a lengthy court fight, in putting the matter to a referendum.[more inside]
In a five-part series, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carolyn Said examines Airbnb’s impact in San Francisco. (Previously) [more inside]
In Seattle, Xenia is not only a "one bedroom in Eastlake", it's an Airbnb art installation you can rent for a $100 a night.
Tuesday night, the Santa Monica (CA) City Council unanimously passed one of the most restrictive laws in the nation on short-term rentals. The ordinance (which strengthens and enforces laws already on the books) explicitly bans vacation rentals – rentals of 30 days or less where the primary occupant of the home or apartment is not present – while legalizing and taxing “home-sharing” – i.e. renting a couch, spare room or backyard cottage - providing at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the stay. Santa Monica (pop. 92K) receives over 7 million visitors annually; Salvador Valles, the city's acting chief administrative officer for Planning and Community Development, estimates the number of available listings on home-share sites would go from 1700 to 300. The ordinance goes into effect June 15. [more inside]
Uber and Airbnb monetize the desperation of people in the post-crisis economy while sounding generous—and evoke a fantasy of community in an atomized population. [more inside]
[...]non-black [AirBnb] hosts earn roughly 12% more for a similar apartment with similar ratings and photos relative to black hosts. [more inside]
Huntbnb is a new service that helps landlords and neighbors find Airbnb listings within their own buildings. While Airbnb does not list actual addresses for listings, HuntBnB matches user-entered exact addresses to Airbnb listings within close proximity. [more inside]
“In a city that has chronic housing shortages, the number of Airbnb homes that appear to not be available on the rental market is significant"
Going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and finding yourself worried about bathroom options? Try AirPnP. Like Airbnb, but for bathrooms. [more inside]
AirBnB And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy
“We’re going to have to invent new economics to capture the impact of the sharing economy,” says Arun Sundararajan, a professor at the Stern School of Business at NYU who studies this phenomenon. The largest question for academics is whether this all creates new value or just replaces existing businesses. The answer is surely both. It’s classic creative destruction.[more inside]
With the closure of Borders across the nation, what is one to do when nature calls? Just as AirBNB and CouchSurfing have solved the problem of renting out your spare room, why not rent out your bathroom to strangers with CLOO!
When EJ was called out of town for work, she decided to use couchsurfing site AirBnB to rent her home out for the week. She took care to lock up her valuables (money, passport, iPod, grandmother's jewelry) in a closet. She came home to find her tenants had systematically looted & trashed the place. They got to the closet through a hole they made in the wall & even cut the tags off her pillows. AirBnB has made sympathetic statements but EJ remains devastated.
Rent Liechtenstein. Last Summer, Snoop Dogg tried to rent Liechtenstein for a music video shoot. Now, thanks to Airbnb, you can actually rent the entire country for $70k a night, with a two-night minimum. [more inside]