The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00493

Submission Number:
00493
Commenter:
Holloway
State:
California
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am a sharing economy host. My vacation rental is an alternative to a hotel room experience for families or a small group of friends that want to travel and share time together cooking, eating, socializing and relaxing in the same space. I have a permit and pay transient tax to the County and Federal and State income tax on the proceeds earned. I enjoy meeting and helping guests enjoy their stay. Hosting enables me to make improvements the property, hiring workers and contractors, and purchasing materials for these, as well as the necessary guest toiletries, towels, sheets, extra insurance, etc. I am engaged in the community and friends with most all of my neighbors and they have no issues with my renting short term. I use Airbnb only as have investigated VRBO/HomeAway, the main competitors and realized that Airbnb has the best business model to protect both hosts and consumers. VRBO and Homestay has a long list of consumer complaints such as being ripped off from hosts and the guest reviews can be fabricated or not allow negative reviews. If you look at 100 rentals there you will not find one negative review. This is not fair to other hosts doing a good job and not fair to potential guests to have all the information to make the best choice. I believe that many hosts do not have permits or pay taxes and that part needs regulations as well. Please check out: http://www.forbes.com/sites/maureenfarrell/2011/01/20/homeaway-and-vacat... http://www.forbes.com/sites/vanessagrout/2014/04/11/how-to-avoid-the-int... http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/vrbo.html http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.homeaway.com http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-vacationrental-sites-wont-say... I am sure you can find others, good luck!