Tag: Airbnb

Nicole Gelinas joins Brian Anderson to discuss how cities with bike-sharing programs deal with theft and vandalism and how tech-based rental services like Airbnb are shaking up the housing market—and prompting new regulations.

Bike-sharing operators are pulling back their services as urban riders confront an old problem: nuisance crime. From Paris to Baltimore, vandalism of bikes is widespread. In San Francisco and Portland, protests against gentrification sometimes take the form of wholesale property destruction of bikes. By contrast, New York and London remain unaffected by large-scale disruptions of their bike-share programs.

Private Accommodation


In The New York Times, Kristen Clarke writes about her experience as an African-American user of AirBNB:

Though August marks the off-season for tourism in Buenos Aires, I was rejected by the first three hosts I contacted. One host listed the days in question as available but nonetheless claimed my request overlapped with another reservation; another declined without explanation; and a third got back to me after a long delay, claiming to have missed my request. While my fourth request was accepted, the overall experience was a sour one. I am African-American, and because Airbnb strongly recommends display of a profile picture (which I provided) and requires its users to display an actual name, it was hard to believe that race didn’t come into play.

Property Ownership Fairness Act: Protecting Property Rights


property-rightsBy Timothy and Christina Sandefur

Nearly a decade ago, the United States Supreme Court delivered one of the most controversial decisions in its history, Kelo v. City of New London, upholding a decision by state officials to seize private homes through eminent domain to make way for a massive redevelopment project to benefit powerful private developers. The ruling triggered outrage across the political spectrum. In response, Americans sought to safeguard their property rights through reforms at the state level. While some of these endeavors were successful, most were hampered by loopholes or ineffective tinkering with procedural details, thus leaving property rights as vulnerable as ever.

Arizona was different. In 2006, that state’s voters overwhelmingly approved the Private Property Rights Protection Act, one of the strongest protections for property rights in the nation. The Act is an excellent model for states that want to provide meaningful security for one of the most essential human rights: the right to ownership.

Airbnb vs. Cronyism in San Francisco


San-Francisco-row-of-houses-shutterstock-500x293San Francisco housing activists last week submitted some 15,000 signatures to get an anti-Airbnb initiative on the November ballot. This group, according to TechCrunch, wants a 75-day limit on hosting or renting out properties vs. the current 90-day limit. Good for traditional hotels, not good for sharing companies. Activists contend home sharing worsens SF’s tight housing market when landlords of residential units rent to travelers rather than residents.

But there is more to the story, as Tyler Fisher of R Street explains:

But what Airbnb naysayers often fail to acknowledge is just how few homeowners are using these new platforms. Estimates range, but at most, short-term rentals make up less than 5 percent of the housing stock; Airbnb lists about 10,000 properties in a city with 379,579 residential units. When you consider that some properties are likely cross-listed on multiple sites and that many rentals are owner-occupied, the impact is further diminished.

Trust 2.0


shutterstock_225204676On Monday, I ordered lunch from the Japanese take-out I frequent. At the register, I realized that I’d forgotten my wallet back at my desk. Sheepishly, I offered to run back and get it, but the owner handed me my food, smiled, and told me not to worry, just pay next time I come in. This was smart on a number of levels: it was good customer service, and — given how often I come in — he was all-but-guaranteed payment within 24 hours (unwilling to to jeopardize my future access to chicken katsu or udon soup over a measly eight bucks, I was back within the hour). But he was only able to do this because he knew me well enough to trust me.

Trust, however, often takes some work to build and can be difficult between strangers (though our ability to so at all is among the things that distinguish humans from the rest of nature). Remember when eBay started, and the idea of sending some random schmuck your money in exchange for a promise that they’d send you an item — as-described and in a timely manner! — seemed crazy? Turns out that worked rather well, with those who attempted to game the system getting punished for it.

But it’s one thing to fork over money for a product and quite another to (potentially) put yourself at risk of physical harm. Only a few years ago, very few people were willing to let perfect strangers into their car, let alone their spare bedroom: too darn risky. But thanks to services like Uber and AirBNB, putting that kind of trust in someone from out of town whom neither you nor anyone else you know have ever met, and who you’re unlikely to ever see again, is now a perfectly rational, relatively safe thing to do.