The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I have been an Airbnb host for almost 2 years, since July of 2013. I rent out a spare bedroom in my house and have had guests from all over the world. The income I make helps support my family and helps us stay in San Francisco, a city where prices are rising. It gives me confidence for the future that when my husband and I retire in one year, that we will be able to supplement our fixed income with Airbnb. San Francisco is ambivalent about Airbnb, and they are trying to create legislation that will give control to San Francisco government. This is not great thinking. San Francisco already is getting the 14% hotel tax from all clients who stay in the city limits, yet it is trying to artificially limit the amount of time a host can use Airbnb over the course of a year. Airbnb is not the enemy. It has helped many people like my family survive in a tech-inflated economy. My guests stay in an area of the city where there are no hotels or motels. My guests use local businesses, eat at local restaurants and enliven the local economy in ways that would not be possible if they were confined to the small area of the city that contains the hotels. I support Airbnb fully, but any legislation against short-term rentals or leasing should be carefully considered. Many of the ideas for legislation would prove impossible to enforce, and frankly, I don't think it is anyone's business what I chose to do with my spare room.