The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01416

Submission Number:
01416
Commenter:
Steven Brinly
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
To Whom it May Concern, My wife and I have used sites such as Airbnb to list a small apartment in our home for the past three years in the Lynchburg, Virginia area. There are many visitors who come to Lynchburg for education, entertainment, or to visit friends and family. Traditional hotels are available for these guests, but are often expensive, full, and not personal. We started renting the apartment out when we began the process of adopting our two children from Uganda. My wife is a nurse and I teach at a local university. When our children came home we decided that it would be best for my wife to stay home with the kids and homeschool them during their first 6 months in America. The income generated from renting out our small apartment allowed us afford having my wife home on my educator's salary. We love listing on Airbnb because of the ease of use and screening features that this site has to offer. They handle all of the payment and even include insurance which protects me and my property from any damages that a guest may cause. Airbnb shows the host what means of verification the guest has and I am able to limit my reservations to individuals with positive reviews. Airbnb also provides an avenue for guests to leave feedback about the property so future guests can book with confidence knowing exactly what to expect when they stay. Most of these guests rely on my suggestions for dining and entertainment, so their stay not only benefits me, but it also benefits Lynchburg's local economy. Without the additional income that my family receives from our shared apartment we would not be able to continue to support our growing family on my salary. Airbnb also provides a great avenue for us to meet great people from all over the world when they chose to visit Lynchburg. Sincerely, Steven Brinly