Airbnb doesn't know how to quit when it's behind

Well, at least it's no longer singling out one particular city councilor of being in the pocket of Big Hotel. But now the "home share" concern is accusing "Boston lawmakers" of being out to hurt low-income Bostonians.

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Yawn

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You still haven't produced those aerial photographs of the neighborhoods that airbnb literally destroyed. Did you run out of space on your server to host them?

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Boston from the air

You seem to be watching Boston from afar, if you were you would notice the how AirBnB is modifying at least the downtown neighborhoods.

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I'd agree with you

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But the company is being way too aggressive, so they must be the a-holes in all of this.

Of course, I'd love to see them try to justify the claim that cracking down on their business model is hurting poor people. Poor people rent. They don't own. They have nothing to rent out. On the other hand, investors gobbling up units and renting them on air b and b, thereby making more in rents than they would offering them as part of a typical annual lease, are constraining the overall rental market, which really screws people who cannot afford a down payment or don't have credit worthy enough to obtain a mortgage. You know, poor people.

Yeah, so screw 'em. If they keep up the rhetoric, I might end up in favor of bringing back rent control.

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Poor people

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Don't live in expensive touristy AirBnB-able areas. Now, you do have investors buying up houses in cheaper areas, fixing them and condoing them out, but that has absolutely nothing to do with AirBnB.

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When supply gets constrained

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Poor people get screwed.

Do you really think that the building boom in East Boston is because people suddenly “discovered” the neighborhood? No, it’s because downtown and the North End are insanely expensive. It works in waves. People getting priced out of the South End move to JP, whose priced out residents move to Roslindale, whose priced out residents move to Hyde Park, and so on.

Investors locking up new housing for air B and B rentals constrain supply. So yeah, it has everything to do with them.

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Right

Well, you're worth the time it took you to register for a Uhub account.

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I've used Airbnb twice

I don't need you or government protecting me from anything. I participated in a transaction with another consenting adult, and I didn't ask for your help. Go adopt a dog if you seek dominion over another being.

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Will, dear

Here's a challenge for you:

Try to find where you contact AirBnB when your host turns out to be a scammer.

Report back with the link when you find it - not the one that gets you the "Helpful FAQ" that is completely useless for contacting AirBnB to solve your problem. I'm talking about the actual link to customer service that you need to prevent charges on your account when you have been told at the last minute that the unit is unavailable unless you pay 2x what was agreed to (or that "the water heater blew" one hour before the scheduled takeover of the unit) and the host is asking YOU to cancel so that you lose your advance payment and fees.

Also find the link where you can reserve another unit when you are still on the hook for the one that is unavailable.

Take your time ...

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Incentives!

I flag the charge with Visa, if it's not reversed, I would sue. Only thing I ask of government is to protect my private property rights, which is fair, since they won't let everybody carry around these parts.

I then also trash AirBnb and the offending provider on social media. Who would rip somebody off and get barred from a good platform for sharing lodging? Play the long game.

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You aren't going to sue over

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You aren't going to sue over a few hundred dollars. Let's be honest here, Lionel Hutz. And you rail against the government but you would want to bring someone to court. You know who runs the courts, right?

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Sure - flag the charges

Now. How do you find a last minute place to stay? That you can afford?

You won't be able to use Air BnB.

Flagging the charges works one week later when that FINALLY gets through to the idiots who don't wan't problems so they don't let them be reported. It doesn't help you find a place to stay.

Oh, yeah - one important thing: in order to sue, you will need to spend quite a bit on travel since you will need to appear in person in the jurisdiction where you were scammed.

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And...

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Why do you think you can even cancel payment anyways? VISA doesn't want the hassle of helping you out of the kindness of their heart and cost of their budget.

Oh, right! It's the Fair Credit Billing Act that required them to let you do that...you know, government...and laws...and all that stuff getting in the way of you doing what you want all the time.

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Again, long game

If there was no Fair Credit Billing Act, VISA could refuse to abide by my claim of fraud...and I could start using Mastercard or American Express.

I've never paid interest on a credit card in my life. I collect rewards and make profits from them while being able to defer my own expenses. They work for me. If you issue me a credit card, you're only doing it because you think you might collect interest payments from me someday.

Neither of us needed government's help with that business transaction.

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?

Because industry always competes to protect the consumer?

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Moronic view

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Why would Mastercard or AmEx let you stop a charge any more than Visa? You think they'd get competitive advantage by getting a few people to switch? Why when they'd just contact each other and collude to give out the fewest services while taking the most money. Oh, wait, there are laws against entire markets entering collusion against consumers for a reason? Funny that. But I'm sure you'd find an upstart who promised you all the things you wanted and you'd try to get away from the colluding conglomerates...until they bought or undercut the little guy you joined...or maybe that little guy was a fraud and just ripped you off in Will's World of No Protection Laws To Prevent Government Interference in Will's Life.

Dude, we tried the "don't intervene and everything will be great" period. It didn't go well. Read a history book.

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You know what else isn't going well?

The "excessively intervene" period.

In the above scenario, I just stop using credit cards. For the second time, they're not doing me a favor by extending me credit, I'm doing them a favor by signing up for cards and letting them collect information on my spending patterns.

I've never in my life made a purchase which cost more money than I have. I'm not some idiot who tried to buy a house with magic beans in 2005. I'm not some idiot who spends 50 grand on a BMW in Boston just to slam on the brakes on Comm Ave at a road plate. I'm not some idiot who borrowed six figures to study some liberal art at some arms race participant university which depends on a government which throws money at it like a crack addict.

I don't need government's help until I explicitly ask for it. Americans are increasingly allergic to freedom despite what they say.

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Uh huh...

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I don't need government's help until I explicitly ask for it.

Quote of the year nominee.

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Will: "I don't need the gubment...

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...to fix a problem for me"
(gets scammed)
Will: "I'll sue you! Take it to court! Please help me guboment!"

Do I have that about right? Typical conservative pea brain? Can't see past your own nose, something something?

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On what planet

Am I "conservative?" You ever heard me talk about birth control around here? You ever heard me dismiss religion?

Also, good job quoting half the sentence. I'm the conservative? Hell, you just got a job at Fox News with that selective quoting.

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Sure, all those low income

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Sure, all those low income Bostonians who own condos in Boston but also have other homes they live in so they need to be able to rent their condo out more than 30 days a year. Lots of low income people have over a month off a year to be able to travel and rent out their condo. The proposals by city council are too leniant and yet airbnb is still fighting, Billionaire tech bros are hiding behind fake "low income Bostonians" to get even richer at cities, and their residents, expense.

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Billionaire tech bros

Are hiding behind low income Bostonians to get richer...and you're hiding behind Boston City Council to get something that you want.

Either both of you are tools, or neither of you are.

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One side is using an

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One side is using an unrelated party who didn't ask to be involved as a shield

The other side is using an organization of people who willingly committed to doing the bidding of the public as a sword

It's not reeeallly the same thing, dude.

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Therein lies the rub

I don't believe that the Boston City Council is an organization of people who are genuinely committed to doing the bidding of the public. I think they care about enriching themselves and people they know personally.

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Whoever is responsible for

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Whoever is responsible for public relations at AirBNB seems to be really bad at their job.

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Or very good

I wish our citizens would talk half as much about how local government does jack (expletive) for anybody as this company is doing.

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Brighton

I won't give out the dollar figure in UH comments, but I'll tell you that living in the same place for 14 years has its advantages. I'm not one of those people who moves every year because OMG I JUST CAN'T DO ROOMMATES ANYMORE.

I have a reasonable amount of money for somebody my age. I didn't get there by overspending on a place to (expletive), sleep, and shower in my 20s that I don't even own at the end of the month. Hell, a girl I like dates and lives with somebody else perhaps in part because I would never in a million years punt on my current rent to live with her or any woman. Like I said above, long game.

Decades of a tax code which rewards overbreeding and shelter profiteering made this problem, not some startup conduit for renting a room to a traveler. What's it going to take to get the public to realize that government is a far more obstinate foe than any private company ever could be?

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there's some research to consider.

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1) According to Study, Airbnb Raised Median NYC Rents by $380

2) It’s Very Likely That Airbnb Is Causing Your Rent To Go Up, According To A New Study

There’s been plenty of debate in cities around the country in recent years over Airbnb’s impact on neighborhoods, amid concerns that the home-sharing platform accelerates gentrification and causes rents to increase. Now a new study from academics at MIT, UCLA, and USC shows that Airbnb is indeed having an impact on real estate prices.

The report found that in the U.S. a 10% increase in Airbnb listings would lead to a 0.39% increase in rents and a 0.64% increase in home prices in a zip code on average, meaning neighborhoods with listings are becoming more valuable. “That’s not insignificant, but that’s not huge,” Kyle Barron, a research assistant at MIT and coauthor of the study, tells Fast Company. The research is sure to fuel the debate over how Airbnb should be regulated, though it did not delve into the platform’s economic impact on surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. [...]

It’s not [Airbnb’s] fault that cities are bad at growing supply—but it doesn’t make the empirical facts less true,” says Keren Horn, assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, who has conducted research on the effects of Airbnb on Boston-area rents. Though is it regulators who have failed to build enough housing or come up with a solution to mitigate constrained supply, it doesn’t mean they can ignore the ways in which Airbnb affects the market. That means implementing rules, unpopular though they may be with hosts, to restrict long-term housing stock from flipping onto short-term markets and ultimately increasing rents for locals.

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Okay

But the human population is still finite, and the number of visitors to Boston who seek lodging is even more finite still.

At some point, a bunch of AirBnb residences are going to lead to a bunch of constantly empty rooms in existing hotels. People could live there. Up to the hotel to rent out their space that they either paid off decades ago or are still paying on. Sunk cost either way.

Again, incentives. If I'm a hotelier, I get serious about how decades of charging high prices has driven travelers away from my business. They're like colleges and hospitals. I didn't tell them to get into an amenities arms race.

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Decades of high prices?

Current hotel room rates are unusually low. Cheap travel is not an entitlement. I guess I come from an long ago time where we vacationed at my grandparents farm and shared beach houses with 1 to 3 families. Hostels and campgrounds used to be the budget place to stay.

The cost of rent isn’t the only problem. There is nothing available to rent. And forget section 8, it’s basically a hunting permit.

The hotel will be converted to condos and bought by absentee landlords. So no that won’t work for the same reason all the new construction isn’t helping now.

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The new construction isn't helping now

Because there isn't enough of it.

There's 680,000 Bostonians. If there were 700,000 individual places for people to live, this wouldn't be a problem. Again, there's a bunch of people in New York and Prague and some Chinese village you've never heard of who are either content with their lives, don't want to live here, or both. Demand to live here will always be finite.

Absentee landlords could buy a hotel, but at some point, you have to rent it out. I'm 34. I'll play the long game and wait out all the greedy old people who have all the money and the property. I'm like the Sixers. Trust the process.

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Can't trust the process when

Can't trust the process when billionaires are gaming the system. There are too many substantially empty apartments that aren't being rented even by the night. Even if a resident could afford to stay every night, They can't because after 30 days they are a tenant and afforded those protections.

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Gaming the system

Well, who do you think established the system? Say it with me: Big gov-ern-ment.

If cheap travel isn't an entitlement, then what is living in Boston?

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Living safely in Boston is an etitlement

I agree that the government should be limited in how it can interfere with the market, but AirBnb is creating more problems then that. These properties are not supervised generally, and create problems for the neighbors.

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But

Like 2 comments up, you accused someone of

hiding behind Boston City Council to get something that you want.

Soooo...which is it?

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That’s it.

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Ban them.

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Airbnb

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Airbnb needs oversight,... example-investor purchased brownstone in Highland Park above RCC & renovated building into college rentals, within 9 months turned into total Airbnb property which increases uber traffic & takes away several parking spaces from residents on a narrow, limited parking street. My favorite day was street cleaning day & the tow trucks hooking up multiple vehicles at precisely 8:01am.

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It's like they don't know us at all

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We've closed ranks with government officials over fucking chicken sandwiches before, man.

You don't think we'll do it if you start shoving around our City Council?

How about you leave our fucking city if you can't hack it when we tell you to stop abusing our housing supply, Air Buh-Bye?

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I have yet to speak with ONE.....

I have yet to speak with ONE person who lives in town who actually is in favor of all the airbnb's all over the place. I am not sure where are all these people who support it are at?

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Random idea

Can municipalities charge owners who primarily rent short term the commercial tax rates instead of the residential tax rates?

It would only seem fair.

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In places like Boston

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Seeing the tax rate go from residential to commercial might make a dent. It would depend on the profit margin of the property, no?

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I Would Imagine...

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Traditional Bed and Breakfast owners who have been playing by the rules this whole time, paying commercial rates and getting inspections and licenses, would love to see more enforcement.

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Too hard to enforce

ISDs head honcho decided against even inspecting these units a few years ago. The data on where units are located is also very difficult for cities to get. Airbnb is like a child holding ill gotten candy behind their back.

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Actually AirBnb does expect people to pay taxes.

They instruct owners on occupancy taxes. In some city’s , they collect it in the online payment system. It is one of the big problems and how to intervene with the serious problem. In compared to the money they make the taxes are cheap.

What I wonder is why they don’t apply the laws regulating lodging houses.

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Sect...

Do we only call it a illegal rooming house if the occupants aren’t white?

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Interesting - one of the

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Interesting - one of the founders of airbnb is s Boston native - and I mean the city itself. His parents still live in the house he grew up in and he went to the public schools. Bet he doesn't see themselves as causing the downfall of affordable housing in the city ( nor do I)

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