Real Estate and Housing Regulations
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Airbnb's Complaint Against the City of Boston for Injunctive Relief
This is a case about a city trying to conscript home-sharing platforms into enforcing regulations on the city’s behalf, in a manner that would thwart both federal and Massachusetts law. The City of Boston has enacted an Ordinance limiting short-term residential rentals by hosts. But it goes much further than that. The Ordinance also enlists home-sharing platforms like Airbnb into enforcing those limits under threat of draconian penalties, including $300-per-violation-per-day fines and complete banishment from doing business in Boston. Airbnb believes that home-sharing may be lawfully regulated, and it has worked with dozens of cities to develop the tools they need to do so without violating federal or state law. Boston’s heavy-handed approach, however, crosses several clear legal lines and must be invalidated.
Our Negotiations for the Local Tax in Vienna
Regretfully, we have learned that the City of Vienna has prematurely broken off negotiations on the automated collection of local taxes via our platform. With a corresponding agreement, Airbnb would have automatically collected the tourism tax from the guest when booking and paid it to the City of Vienna. This would have meant less administrative work for both our host community and the city. Back in 2016, we offered to collect the tourism levy on behalf of our hosts in the City of Vienna. Immediately after the change of the Tourism Promotion Act we renewed said offer, and were in constructive negotiations for months. Therefore, we cannot understand the sudden termination of these negotiations. All the differences that the City of Vienna cited as reasons for the termination are bridgeable ones for Airbnb. We have communicated this to the city administration.
Important update for home sharers across Ireland
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has announced new proposals for short-term lettings regulations. Airbnb supports the legitimisation of home sharing worldwide and has long called for fair and proportionate rules for home sharing which will offer clarity to the host community across Ireland. However, it is not clear how the proposed set of restrictive regulations addresses the government’s housing concerns.
Should Short Term Rentals Like Airbnb Pay Taxes Like Hotels?
Many Honolulu businesses and consumers think the time has come to tax Airbnb and other short-term rental sites with the same oversight and transparency as hotels. According to a Hawaii Tourism Authority report, Airbnb is the third largest vacation rental platform in the state.The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice found one out of every 24 housing units in the state is a vacation rental.
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