Home Sharing Newsworthy week of October 13, 2014

This week, the news about home sharing and Airbnb was hot.  At the beginning of October, San Francisco passed an “Airbnb law” while this week New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, released a report stating that over 70% of Airbnb hosts in NY are illegal.

*Note: The report is about “private” listings only; it does not include ALL Airbnb listings in New York. The finding that over 70% of Airbnb listings are illegal is incorrect because the report doesn’t include listings that share their space with guests.I offer both styles of home sharing. I have spoken to the press about how home sharing save my home in numerous occasions.

THE REPORT:

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman report dated October 2014: 

FROM THE REPORT:

  • Private Short term rental in NYC generated over $500 million in revenue in less than 5 years (Page 8).
  • New York City Is Likely Owed Millions in Unpaid Hotel Taxes from Private Short-Term Rentals (Page 10).

The New York Attorney General’s report created a flood of press, including newspaper, TV and radio articles such as:

Airbnb Listings Mostly Illegal, New York State Contends

NYTIMES - By DAVID STREITFELD October 15, 2014

FROM THE ARTICLE:

The report will say nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in the city are illegal, violating zoning or other laws. Commercial operators, not hard-luck residents, supply more than a third of the units and generate more than a third of the revenue. At least a handful of landlords are running what amount to illegal hostels.”

“Admirers say these stars of the so-called sharing economy are breaking up monopolies that have grown greedy and lazy. They are empowering individuals. Critics say that the start-ups are unsavory efforts to avoid regulation and taxes, and that the very term “sharing economy” is ridiculous.”

“Airbnb is already too popular to dislodge completely, no matter what the housing laws say. It also delights travelers, who get a cheaper and usually more interesting place to stay.”

The Airbnb community of NY hosts helped NPR Reporter Ilya Marritz on the following article:

Airbnb, New York State Spar Over Legality Of Rentals

by Ilya Marritz  October 16, 2014 4:25 PM ET

FROM THE ARTICLE:

"This year alone, Airbnb will make about $280 million of business in the Big Apple."

"Sure, Airbnb helps people like Irene make ends meet. But Schneiderman argues the market is actually dominated by a small number of people renting out a large number of beds."


In other news:

You think the Airbnb 1 million dollar insurance will cover you?  Think again.  Time to review your insurance policy.

Lawmakers call for Airbnb investigation over misleading insurance claim

BY ANNIE KARNI   NEW YORK DAILY NEWS    Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7:54 AM

FROM THE ARTICLE:

"It “may constitute a deceptive business practice in that it willfully misleads Airbnb hosts into believing they have sufficient coverage,” they write."

"In fact, the “guarantee” covers few damages, they argue. “The fine print on Airbnb’s website reveals that it only applies to property that is owned or legally controlled by the host,” Espaillat and Moya write."


Late last week:

Does your landlord know that you’re home sharing your space?  I know that if I had a tenant that was Airbnbing their space without letting me know, I would be just as upset as Mr. Griffith.

Disclaimer: I know Michelle Martinez 

Airbnb Poster-Child Was Evicted for Airbnb-ing a Converted Barn She Didn’t Own

FROM THE ARTICLE:

“Christopher Griffith moved overseas for work, he leased the renovated 1880s Dutch barn he owns in Stuyvesant, New York, less than three hours from the city, to a young fabric designer for $4,000 a month the old fashion way."

"Martinez insists it was simply a misunderstanding. “I thought I was very clear to Christopher. I explained my whole life and the concept of what I was doing and he seemed very keen on it,” Shell says of the barn fight. “In hindsight, I look back and go, ‘Gosh, maybe I should have communicated better.’ But there was never an intention to do harm. close quotes?"

"Martinez says only a handful of people stayed at the barn while she wasn’t there (her account has four barn reviews) and that “it was always very mellow.” It may have been “jarring” for the owner to see his home listed, Shell admits. “He might have had this impression: ‘She's making money off of me!’” That’s not true, she insists. “I didn’t make any profit.”"


The infographic below is from September, but I found it interesting. 

Infographic: Understanding the Sharing Economy

FROM THE ARTICLE: 

“Named as one of TIME Magazine’s 10 ideas that will change the world (2011 edition), the following Infographic attempts to throw more light on this idea.” 

 


Posted on October 18, 2014 .