Airbnb, Uber and Legal Problems with the Digital-Sharing Economy

Airbnb,Uber and legal problems with the digital-sharing economy

• Airbnb’s legal issues
  Airbnb provides an online platform to allow individuals to rent out their homes, rooms or apartments to visitors. While this is not in itself illegal, in many cases the rentals advertised on the site fall foul of local housing laws and regulations. For example, in New York owners or tenants cannot legally rent their apartments out for short periods (less than 30 days) unless they are also living in the property. There is also a tax issue; in many cities those renting out holiday accommodation are expected to pay a hotel or tourist tax.
Who   is opposed to Airbnb?
    Unsurprisingly, the hotel industry. Airbnb make it easy for tourists to find cheap accommodation in desirable locations, massively undercutting the prices charged by hotels and B&Bs. In April the Economist reported that if Airbnb continues to grow at its current rate, by 2016 it will be taking a 10% bite out of hotels' takings – enough to send many businesses under.
Where in the world is Airbnb under pressure?
   In Berlin – where Airbnb has been partly blamed for increasing rents – city officials have created a new housing law banning regular short-term letting of rooms without permission from the authorities, something that could have a big impact on the number of Airbnb hosts in the city.
How has Airbnb responded?
    Airbnb has continued to argue the benefits they provide to cities and their residents; for example, by citing the financial benefits home rental offers to hard up citizens. In the case of Barcelona, one study cited by the company found that 75% of those renting homes out through Airbnb have incomes below the national average. In New York, Airbnb has been battling hard through the courts, as well as engaging in an aggressive PR campaign that has seen it launch a city-specific website that states "New Yorkers support Airbnb" and, more recently, sponsoring the New York...