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The answer, as always, lies somewhere in the middle.
The sharing economy, or as some call it the collaborative consumption economy, is still in its early infancy and companies like Airbnb, Lyft, RelayRides and their peers are the hottest topic in the startup world right now.
The legality of these startups has been in the grey from the start, as they push against the incumbent laws and regulations, and New York City, by being a dense urban environment where sharing comes naturally, has become a very high profile platform for some of these fights.
Airbnb is the biggest fight of them all, with rentals being a war game in our teeming city. Every generation that moves into New York City has its own rental stories, and ours is Airnbnb vs NYC.
Skift has covered all aspects of this fight, starting with our long investigative piece in January this year about the Airbnb and all the issues it has in NYC. Since then, that story has been cited everywhere and the headline number that half of its listings in the city are illegal has become the lingo among city and state lawmakers. Airbnb has fought back in some high profile cases, and is now girding for the long fight.
However New York City’s regulations shake out in this high-profile case, so will the rest of the nation and possibly the world over, at least in large cities.
We have kept a harsh light on all the sides and issues involved, and have done about 20 stories since.
The history of those issues, in links, in chronological order:
- Airbnb’s Growing Pains Mirrored in New York City, Where Half Its Listings Are Illegal Rentals
- Airbnb CEO Responds To Illegal Rentals Story: “First Of All, It’s Not Illegal Everywhere”
- HomeAway CEO Sees Tough Short-Term Rental Laws As A “Nuisance”
- Airbnb Host Will Have To Pay $2,400 Fine From New York City
- Is Airbnb Illegal In New York? Definitely Not, But Many Of Its Hosts Break The Law
- New York State Senator Says Airbnb’s Actions “Pathologically Irresponsible”
- Can Airbnb Really Hide Behind Its Murky Understanding Of The Law Until Its IPO?
- Airbnb Gears Up For Big Legal And Legislative Battles in New York
- What Is A Short-Term Rental? Leading Advocacy Group Isn’t Quite Sure
- Airbnb Could Face Hotel Industry Class-Action Lawsuit as NYC Cracks Down
- NYC Rules Airbnb Rentals Legal if at Least One Tenant Present
- Airbnb Is Not off the Hook in New York City, Says Chief Legislative Critic
- Airbnb CEO Gives New York His Three-Step Plan For Going Legit
- New York State Attorney General Subpoenas Airbnb User Records
- Airbnb Vs. New York City: Hosts and Users React
- Airbnb Files Petition to Block NY Subpoena, Cites Burden to Compile Data
- What HomeAway Can Teach Airbnb About Getting Along With Cities
- 1% of NYC Visitors Stayed in an Airbnb Rental Last Year
- Airbnb’s Most Notorious Landlord Settles with New York City