Yesterday Airbnb announced that it would be implementing a new policy that goes towards keeping the company and its business operations out of city regulators’ crosshairs.
The company’s new policy—called “Community Compact”—basically sees Airbnb make an effort to prevent its approach to short-term rentals from impacting the availability of long-term rental housing.” Airbnb looks to do this by making sure only hosts with homes that they own can put rooms up for rent and will be looking to make the policy active in several markets where the company has run into resistance.
“Community Compact” has three main areas of focus: transparency, promoting responsible home sharing, and treating each city personally. The last goal sees Airbnb not use a “one shoe fits all” approach to cities given that all cities will have different concerns and needs in relation to how Airbnb operates there. The company will also make sure tourist and hotel taxes are paid.
Transparency is pretty much the same thing that is always presented when there’s a new policy in place by a company. Data will be made public and privacy experts will be consulted—nothing new here.
Finally there’s the above mentioned approach of making sure hosts permanently own their homes before listing. That area could serve as house cleaning for hosts who don’t on their own and making sure everyone else shapes up to keep the self-regulating nature of Airbnb in order.
Businesses like Airbnb and Uber operate better when they have little regulation to deal with and can contract their services through hosts or drivers not officially with the company. That means to stay on a city’s good side, they have to show they’re making a strong effort to work within an actual framework and that they’re not harming the established services in that area or presenting a service with any risks to consumers.