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Airbnb: Uncertain future of short-term rental platforms

Airbnb’s rapid expansion and takeover of the world’s home-sharing community is subsequently changing the landscape of travel accommodation. However, it is becoming clear the formerly touted benefits of posting vacation rentals on short-term rental websites are becoming more of a hassle for property owners. Several cities around the world have expressed concerns that platforms such as Airbnb stand as unfair competitors to hotels and can turn some neighborhoods into sterile, tourist-only zones. This resulted in the introduction of stricter regulations concerning short-term rentals

France is Airbnb’s second-largest market after the United States. Paris, one of the most visited cities in the world, is its second most popular destination in terms of active rentals. Following criticism that short-term rental sites like Airbnb were contributing to increased housing prices and shortages, Paris introduced new laws regulating the market. Regulations passed in late 2018 allow the government to hold companies like Airbnb responsible by fines for illegal postings listed.

In February 2019, the city of Paris filed a lawsuit against home rental service Airbnb for failing to respect local laws regulating holiday rental properties. The French capital is taking action against 1,000 illegal rental listings on the accommodation platform. Airbnb said it remains convinced that Paris’ disproportionate short term rental rules break EU rules and the company looks forward to making its case in court.

Airbnb may be the default lodging option for many, but the future of the company remains to be seen as local residents and governments begin to step in. Increased regulation is also bringing a backlash in the form of lawsuits against city rules. While the outcome of pending short-term rental litigations has yet to be seen, it is clear that more such suits could follow. Some of the outcomes of these legal battles may ultimately benefit short-term rental hosts, but legal proceedings can take time, leaving all parties in legal limbo. In the meantime, having short-term rental issues decided by the courts contributes to the uncertain atmosphere that is becoming more and more the case for short-term rental operators such as Airbnb.

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