In November 2013, I found out that a handful of my New York condo neighbours were renting out their units through Airbnb. This was unacceptable and I wrote an article in a major New York newspaper that helped fan a movement.
We made presentations to city council and the legislature and, three years later, the State of New York has essentially banned short-term rentals by Airbnb or others.
I’ve also kept Airbnb out of my Toronto building and have written about the so-called “sharing economy” (which includes Uber) and the public concerns they raise.
Many others cities — San Francisco, Berlin, Barcelona, to name a few — have also moved to restrict or ban Airbnb and/or Uber too.
The central issue is not economic. It’s that these platforms enable users to get lower cost services by bypassing laws, zoning, regulatory, insurance, taxation and safety requirements. Such restrictions are there for good reason, notably those involving safety.