Another host, Anthony Farmer, filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against AirBNB in November in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit, which is attempting to exceed AirBnB’s arbitration terms, accuses the company of breaching its contract and fiduciary fees and violating consumer protection laws.
The company’s policy put public health and safety first, said AirBNB spokesman Christopher Faculty, which would ultimately “help hosts by maintaining high guest loyalty and demand for AirBNB listings.” He said that Mr. Farmer’s suit was not without merit.
‘Return to our roots’
In May, Airbnb Announced It will “go back to our roots” by focusing on “everyday people hosting our homes”.
In that case there are commercial advantages. Professional rental operators with multiple listings may appear to remove housing and turn neighborhoods into tourist areas, leading politicians and neighborhood associations to enforce the rules. A family renting an extra bedroom is often less threatening.
In a financial prospectus in November, AirBnB stated that 90 percent of its hosts were “individual hosts”, defined as those who built their listings directly on the site, rather than using specialized software to sign up. But according to Transparent, a software provider for short-term rental operators, just 37 percent of AirBnB’s listings were managed with a property in September. Roughly half the listings were managed by hosts with two to 20 properties, and 14 percent by hosts with 21 or more.
So when Airbnb insisted on individual hosts, it further upset its professional hosts.
“Their business is built on professional hosts in a way, but they don’t often say so,” said Columbus operator Mr. Vail. “They don’t want to title that message.”
Mr Encounter said Airbnb’s focus was not on “main hosts”, not at the expense of professional hosts. He said that the professional hosts were given representation on its Host Advisory Board, a company formed in October so that the hosts could meet with AirBnB executives.