Airbnb is one of the greatest hire companies of our time, a platform that permits users to rent unique accommodation from local hosts in over 191 countries. Housing a whole suite of services they have this week been in a battle with their hometown’s government, with San Francisco authorities criticising the firm and other platforms for their attitude towards regulation. Seeing the firm put in charge of vetting these hosts Airbnb have in turn sued the local government, arguing that it shouldn’t be responsible for instilling city rules. With San Francisco giving birth to so many tech-driven start-ups Airbnb believe their hometown to be stunting growth.
The new rule means Airbnb must only be advertising San Francisco properties that have registered with the city and haven’t exceeded the number of nights they are permitted to rent properties out for. The penalty for platforms is a fine of up to £1,000 a day per violation.
Taking things legal
Legal experts claim Airbnb has a good chance at wining this case, however the government also has a legitimate interest in regulating health and safety, including housing in a city that’s regarded the most expensive in the country.
“This is going to be the first of many kinds of legal battles around the platform economy. I’m sure that other companies are going to mount similar kinds of defenses when they’re in regulatory crosshairs,” said Vivek Krishnamurthy, assistant director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
“At some point,” he said, “governments are going to have to be able to regulate these things.”
Stunting the development of such companies we are Anything For Hire understand the platforms frustration, however, regulatory adherence is what keeps renters safe and protected.
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