Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The thing about AirBnB

AirBnB started in a condo across the street from us South of Market. My husband is a programmer, so one night a few years ago we ended up at an open house over there.

That condo has a rooftop terrace to die for. In our place, right across the street, we feel wrapped up in neighbors. On that terrace, maybe 30 feet higher up, the whole city is twinkling in front of you. It's romantic as hell.

On the terrace was a dude who seemed to work for the company. He was explaining about the informal short-term rental listing idea. I said something like, that's cool, but what do you do about short-term renters getting 30-day tenants' rights under California law? He said (more or less) that's not our problem, it's the responsibility of the person who posts the listing to know local laws.

A bit later someone mentioned the cruddy vacant building next to his. I said (more or less), oh, that place was emptied of tenants under the Ellis Act. And he said (more or less) oh, what's the Ellis Act?

To be clear, I have no idea who that dude was, and no idea whether he was either more or less knowledgeable than other people at the company. But, damn, his lack not only of knowledge but of interest in landlord-tenant law disturbed me.

So this and this and this wasn't really a surprise.

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