The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear Trade Commission, I'm writing today, to tell you why I strongly support sharing sites like AirBnB. My situation may not be the most common, but I'm sure there are countless others in similar situations. I have lived in the US as a legal permanent resident since 2000, and return to my home country (Germany) frequently, especially with my aging parents needing me there often and for extended periods. Until I found AirBnB it has been next to impossible for me to visit them, because I have animals/pets that need looking after and because I need to make mortgage payments (I'm a single mom). AirBnB has allowed me to rent out my home to users who are not expecting a 'Hotel' but rather appreciate a real lived in home and don't mind our personal belongings being around. These guests are informed about the animals, and are only too happy to feed and pet them. This resolved both the problems I had, and I can now visit and support my parents abroad. My guests have been extremely happy and left responses and ratings that are extremely positive. I feel that I am NOT taking business from Hotels/Motels, because my guests would not want to or be able to afford to stay in a hotel. I'm also paying taxes on my rental income - and I believe in contributing to the community and country I live in, in this way. AirBnB is less about 'tourism' and more about facilitating people to move around freely - ordinary people, everyday people - and enjoy a real 'home' away from home. Without AirBnB I would not have access to the community of guests, and I would not feel safe renting to just anyone.