The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00709

Submission Number:
Julia Holland
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear FTC policymakers: I am writing to you as an Airbnb host. Airbnb is a wonderful organization and it has really saved me financially. I am a single woman with almost grown children who are still trying to find a way to support themselves in this economy and are living with me. I teach piano and singing in Malibu CA, and have been renting a property here for almost 16 years because the real estate is too expensive to buy. I have a unique situation because my living room is my studio and my clients are all school age children in this area. Recently my landlord decided to raise my rent an extra $500 per month bringing my rent and utilities up to over $5500. Airbnb has helped me stay in my home and helped me live in a community that only caters to the very wealthy. If I leave this home, I know for certain I will lose my clientele and I will not be able to afford to move anywhere else in this town, as my rent here is already considered "a good deal." Having visitors in my home has been wonderful and also has helped bring people into Malibu to experience the beautiful surroundings without having to spend a minimum of $300 a night on a hotel room. In addition, I am paying income tax to the IRS and a transient tax to the City of Malibu. There is income on all ends. Airbnb is an upstanding company, with strict screening policies for hosts and for travelers. They have a fantastic reporting system and are extremely helpful if ever a problem arises - which few have. They also immediately pay the their hosts, taking their small commission fee off the top. I urge you to look at airbnb as an important way the global community can afford to travel, to share cultures, and to financially help individual homeowners and renters. This is very important for a middle class family such as mine, as we struggle to stay in the place we call home. If you haven't had the experience staying in an airbnb host home, I urge you to try it. We have already met fantastic people from all over the world - some whom I know we will stay in touch with. Thank you, Julia Holland