Airbnb and Big City Concessions

In spite of historical denials by company officials, in recent years Airbnb has started making an effort to placate local civic officials and soothe complaints. In March, the company settled a lawsuit it had filed against a tough San Francisco law by agreeing to help register hosts on behalf of the city. In Berlin, GR, the company has lobbied legislators to revise a law that makes it difficult for residents to rent out homes.

One of the company’s biggest concessions to date has been the voluntary curbing of its most prolific hosts, which according to the firm, represents a small slice of its revenue. Central Paris joins London and Amsterdam as the most recent example of a city where caps apply on the number of nights a year hosts can rent out dwellings. In London, where it has applied a citywide cap, the company says that so far their effort has pared listings. The number of rentals that go over the city’s 90-day-a-year limit has declined from 21% of rentals before the rule to 7% this year. The rentals still over the limit include apartments with special authorization and those that went over the limit before the cap was applied, according to Airbnb.

Despite the company’s newly imposed 120-night curbs on nightly rentals, Parisian government officials dismissed the move as insufficient saying they believe the company should pay more income tax in the country. In December a new law (which Airbnb lobbied against) will require Parisians renting out their primary residences through companies like Airbnb to register with the city and post registration numbers on listings. Owners that don’t register or go beyond the legal limit face hefty fines of up to $58,600. Source: Wall Street Journal. Section B: “Paris Authorities Give Airbnb Plan Chilly Reception” Wednesday, November 15, 2017