The Real Deal New York

Hotels seek to file class action lawsuit against Airbnb

August 19, 2013 09:30AM

Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

Hotels are looking to strike back against short-term lodging website Airbnb — which has dug into their profits — with a class action lawsuit alleging unfair competition, Crain’s reported.

“We are not sitting still,” Vijay Dandapani, chief executive of Apple Core Hotels in New York and a member of the Hotel Association of New York City’s executive committee, told Crain’s. “They are violating the law and we are the affected class.”

Services like Airbnb result in owners sidestepping taxes on income from renting out their homes, Dandapani said. “These people don’t pay taxes. The web sites may tell them they need to pay all taxes, but they don’t require it.”

Airbnb does file information with the federal government reporting income from “hosts,” Crain’s said.

The company also acknowledged that some hosts weren’t aware of local laws concerning illegal hotels. In May, the company added a pop-up screen when hosts register their apartments, which asks users to “review their local laws before listing their space on Airbnb.” It told Crain’s that it is “working with governments around the world to clarify these rules so that everyone has a clear understanding of what the laws are.” [Crain’s]Hiten Samtani

  • Harji Singh

    “someone’s cutting into our profits..” …. “Lets sue them, this is a monopoly!”

    • majesski

      yeah

  • jose

    Well, I would like them to know that I do pay taxes, that I am an honest person earning a retirement income complement rather than being a burden to society and the government, I take care of my own property, I do the front desk duties , the garden care, the hosting, the concierge work…I change beds, do the cleaning of the two units when our maid doesn’t show up or is backed up because we have both units checking out and checking in on the same day….I do not get government subsidies like hotels do nor any other tax break or discount….Oh, I also cook fabulous paellas, lobster and steak dinners at half their price …things none of them do…I appreciate ABB and any other web page that can help me get some business…This is America, home of free enterprise or is it not? Isn’t that why we fight so many wars, to introduce democracy? or is it a selective democracy to keep the rich rich and make the poor poorer?….reinvent yourselfs, my friends.

    Want to lower your operating costs? lower your fat salaries….
    Jose, Vieques, PR

    • Robyn

      You make them PAELLA!?!
      I get them bagels and OJ.
      It’s “Bed and BREAKFAST”, not “Bed and The Best Meal You’ve Ever Had In Your Life!”

  • Fan

    If it wasn’t for airbnb I would have lost my home I fought three years to save after the big banks screwed me over.instead of declaring bankruptcy I put my place on airbnb and it was a success. I could not afford to live it it wasn’t airbnb. I get to share my home and really enjoy hosting. Airbnb helps so many people afford to live and travel. I prey they are safe from harm.

  • Michele

    Hi to everyone who illegally rents their place on Airbnb,

    Because of what you do, other people have had NO PLACES TO STAY.
    The rents you charge are much higher than the rent would be if you weren’t using the Apartment illegally instead of giving it so that other people can get the Apartments they actually need.
    This is NOT an acceptable way of making a living. If you want to run a Bed & Breakfast, start one legally and do it. Fine. Otherwise you are low life criminals who have put other people in terrible situations where they could not afford a place to live because you illegally keep it to rent it out at a higher fee.
    SHAME ON YOU AND AIRBNB. Their founders may be rich now, but they earned their money dishonestly and they will get the bad karma for it.

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