What's the best argument against Airbnb

Judgment against Airbnb

Airbnb is a platform for the brokerage of private accommodation - rooms, apartments, houses. The American company has been able to expand its range enormously in recent years. In the meantime you can book the alternatives to the classic hotel almost everywhere.

Judgment in the USA

Airbnb wanted to avert a lawsuit against their business concept with the argument that it was only a platform. Therefore, it would not be responsible for what content users post online. It does not have to check whether the information is correct, nor whether the private provider has a permit to rent out his accommodation. The company relies on a corresponding US law, according to which platforms are not responsible for the contributions of their users.

However, the court in San Francisco, the hometown of Airbnb, did not accept this argument. In the future, the company must therefore ensure that the private landlords have registered their apartments with the city (see ORF article).

Situation in Austria

In this country too, it has long been considered how to deal with the mediator. If private individuals rent out their accommodations without reporting this, they have an advantage over traditional hotels: they make a profit without paying taxes.

From 2017, Airbnb landlords will also be obliged to pay the local tax in Austria. This is automatically accompanied by a notification to the city as the landlord. You can find information on this at wien.at.

In connection with the above-mentioned judgment, it is therefore conceivable that Airbnb will in future require proof of this notification before a provider can offer his private accommodation via the platform. Whether this will actually happen and what such a regulation would look like in detail cannot yet be assessed.