Wednesday September 30, 2020

updated - September 30, 2020 Wednesday EDT

Group Wages War Over Airbnb

Sep 15, 2014 12:10 AM EDT | By Eunice Tagalog
Airbnb, New York City, Share Better, New York Apartment
Airbnb Logo
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

'Airbnb' is under attack from group of housing advocates, New York politicians and hotel owners following a $3 million campaign against the company.

Airbnb is a web site that offers services to rent out houses to travellers, providing another option than hotels. Other than sharing rent, travellers may also share the homeowner's meals.

The campaign points out that the Airbnb service is putting a strain on the hotel industry and caused the tenants to feel troubled and uneasy.

The anti-Airbnb group named 'Share Better' includes Public Advocate Leticia James, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat , State Sen. Liz Krueger, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and seven other city council members and several housing officials.

"We cannot sit by while illegal hotel operators and unscruptulous landlords further exacerbate New York City's housing crisis by taking units off the market to rent to travellers, while NYC residents are priced out of neighborhoods they call home," State Senator Brad Holyman stated in front of New York City Hall on Friday, Sept. 12.

"Illegal hotels place residents and visitors at risk and must be stopped," Holyman added.

The group is asking New York lawmakers to enforce stricter laws and higher fines to homeowners who illegally rent out their apartments.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed and assured the group that actions are being done against illegal hotels

Meanwhile, Airbnb retorted by way of its public policy blog explaining that the effect of 25,000 Airbnb listings in New York City poses "far too few" risks on housing prices in the district.

The company agreed that illegal hotels are unjust and fights against Airbnb property managers that affect the New York community negatively.

The company believes that lodging and accommodations must be "more accessible, affordable and available."

The company discovered that some of their property managers where not upholding the company's values, as they were reportedly abusing the web site with multiple listings and failed to provide quality experience to guests.

The company took action and removed 2,000 of these 'unlawful' hosts from their online community.

Prior to the campaign, Airbnb already faced a lawsuit from a group of its users' complaints about exposing their personal information to the site.

The case was in conjunction with a New York City law that prevents residents from dwelling in multiple buildings and renting out their apartments for less than 30 days unless they are present in the place.

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