Airbnb is a great company that offers many people the opportunity to rent out the homes that they own. Not only do the guests find a place to stay, but the hosts also make a nice buck from the business. Sounds like a great idea that shouldn’t have any problems, but Airbnb is actually known for being a controversial company, especially in the Bay Area.
San Francisco wants people who rent out their homes through Airbnbs to follow strict regulations, and it wants the platform to advertise only those rule-abiding listings. Those who don’t follow the rules will face the consequences of large fines, up to $1,000 a day.
In retaliation to these strict regulations, Airbnb is suing San Francisco, arguing that it shouldn’t be responsible for making sure hosts follow city rules. Their main argument is that federal law protects similar Bay Area companies, such as Facebook and Youtube, from responsibility for information posted by their users. Airbnb believes that San Francisco, the birthplace of the world’s greatest startups, should protect them and allow the company to succeed.
Critics of Airbnb have long complained that the business model encourages landlords to take rentals off the market for short-term use. Supporters of Airbnb claim they couldn’t continue to live in the expensive Bay Area without the extra money they make renting out space.
Who do you side with?