The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00119

Submission Number:
00119
Commenter:
Christopher Matthew Spencer
State:
California
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I believe that there is a segment of the traveling community that does not wish to use hotels and motels and for decades, vacation rentals have been offered through magazines, websites and by word-of-mouth. AirBnB, VRBO and similar programs offer a further layer of protection for both guest and host in that payment processing is managed in a way that provides credit card protections whereas in the past the parties had to exchange funds by wire, Western Union or check. This proves problematic when there are scammers which AirBnB and VRBO have either reduced dramatically or eliminated. Further, many of these guests seek local accommodations near family or friends for specific purposes and in areas where hotels or motels are not readily accessible, this provides convenience. I noted that many news story claim that these services hurt the lodging industry, but in fact, they do not. These rentals have been occurring prior to the technology being available. Short term rentals were just handled differently. Those who wanted to offer shares or entire locations would simply advertise it elsewhere and were doing so in the past. I believe these services should be made legal federally so as to avoid idiotic decisions by cities such as Santa Monica which is trying to ban them. We do not live in a police state and property owners or managers of properties will simply resent this and push back in the long run. I believe Santa Monica should be investigated by the Commission and perhaps you'll take legal action against them for trying to control a reasonable use of a property. Seems they should be stopped from setting up ordinances.