Now one of the most successful startup darlings in the world, Airbnb has evolved in the era of innovative disruptors. Harnessing the power of technology and building web-based platforms which allow ordinary people to become service providers akin to traditional hotel owners, Airbnb avoids the hefty overheads and strict regulations normally associated with the service industry. Growth has come at a galloping pace, obliterating the monopoly hotels and B&Bs once held.
Many have hailed the development of companies like Airbnb, Taskrabbit, and Uber as a sign of the emergence of the so-called “sharing economy“, a collaborative consumption model which breaks down the traditional boundaries of the capitalist economy by using technology to make sharing assets cheap and easy.
But as detractors predicted, the golden-paved road to collaborative sharing has not been without bumps. For starters, these business models pose a great number of new questions for lawmakers and regulators to contend with. Secondly, the original altruistic intentions of sharing have faded into the background with most using these new systems as a means to make money.
It seems the old adage rings true, you can’t please all the people all the time. Not every host-guest interaction is a pleasant one and there are some shocking horror stories out there (unscrupulous thieves and weird people seem to be buzzing around the internet like flies around a horse). Thus the internet is awash with complaints and speculation about whether companies like Airbnb are shifting the economic paradigm, or else heading towards the precipice of a fatal crash.
For many people, Airbnb is an attractive way to bring in extra cash and supplement our incomes. Of those savvy early adopters with spare rooms or apartments to let out, many have made good money by joining the Airbnb trend and welcoming strangers (nicely termed “guests”) into their homes. But is becoming an Airbnb host as simple as it sounds? In short, like any fast-growing industry, there are some legal issues and looming unanswered “what ifs…?” to take into account that might be invisible when all you see is dollar signs.
We set out to ask ourselves questions regarding the true legality and risks of the Airbnb operation, and what it means for potential Airbnb hosts and landlords. Here’s what we found:
Considering Becoming an Airbnb Host? Read this Guide Before you Decide!
Prefer to go with a traditional lease? Read up on Lease Agreements here.