Peter, it sounds like you have a pretty entrenched interpration of where things are. I disagree.
CHRISTOPHER COURTNEY
1

Christopher, thanks again for your remarks. I’m not sure I’m “entrenched” — perhaps “unpersuaded” is a better word.

I’ll not address specifically the arguments you raised, since none of my previous rebuttals were addressed by you. I will simply make a couple of general observations:

  1. Far be it for me to be a defender of Airbnb. I am not employed by nor am I authorized to speak on its behalf. I also don’t agree with everything it does. However, I do disagree with your repeated accusation that it disregards community standards. Sure, there are members of the community that opposes it (I assume many of those who voted for Prop. F) but there are also large sectors of the community who support it (the majority of voters who rejected Prop. F). Personally, I have spoken to countless hosts who have told me that home sharing and Airbnb saved them from eviction or foreclosure, allowed them to return to school or have improved their quality of life immeasurably. Those are stories that are powerful and they are part of the community of San Francisco too. They are also not disregarded by Airbnb. You can’t simply point to the home sharing nay-sayers, imply that they represent the entire SF community and accuse Airbnb of disregarding all of them. I know for a fact that Airbnb communicates with many community groups and members in SF all the time and I’ve never thought that it has disregarded any of those views. Sure, it has its own corporate interests to preserve, but everyone has their own interests to preserve.
  2. I have a suggestion for you when you next use Airbnb. Contact the host and get an assurance that the listing is legal before making the reservation. If you don’t get that assurance, don’t book it and report it to Airbnb and the City if you so wish. On my own listing, I display my Permit Number TWICE and I would not feel at all offended if a guest asks me before booking about whether my listing is legal. If, after that, you discover that the host deceived you about being legal, contact Airbnb Customer Service immediately. Ask for a refund and assistance in finding alternative accommodation. I’m confident Airbnb will be more than happy to oblige. If you nevertheless choose to stay, make sure you give the host a bad review upon checking out and recount your experience in that review. Tell Airbnb and recommend that the listing be taken down. In this way, it’s unlikely the host will get many (or any) future business. So actually it’s not the case that there is no recourse as you assert.

Peter.

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