Danny Glover The New Face In Airbnb's Campaign To Promote Diversity

By DANIEL BORNSTEIN, ESQ.

As pioneers in the ever-evolving laws relating to short term rental agreements, we were intrigued by the new role Danny Glover was cast into. It’s not a sequel to Lethal Weapon, but a major role in the PR campaign of Airbnb. The short term rental Goliath needs some help, for sure.
Airbnb has taken a backlash lately over diversity issues, and it wasn’t so long ago that it percolated to the national news when a host sent a text message to a prospective guest denying access to her rental because she was Asian, a story we chimed in on here.
The actor, film director, and political activist seems to be the perfect figurehead to champion a culture of safety and diversity. Known not only for his world-renowned films and television programs, Danny Glover is also for “progressiveness throughout America and the world knows Mr. Glover as a steadfast advocate for social justice”, according to Janave Ingram, director of partnerships for Airbnb.
"

The history of housing in America is a history of discrimination. Even as people of color have made strides in countless other areas of American life, home ownership and the inter-generational wealth that comes along with it remains out of reach for far too many."
~ Danny Glover

 
Glover goes onto explaining his advocacy for Airbnb by saying he wants serve "as an adviser for their efforts to engage communities of color, ensuring members of these communities are taking advantage of the economic opportunity of housing on the Airbnb platform."
We hasten to say that Airbnb has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination. But just as the San Francisco Planning Department scrambled at first to regulate Airbnb rentals and other modern day iterations of the temporary flop, so, too, is Airbnb scrambling to police the behavior of its hosts and change the behavior of its community as a whole. 

Increasing the Diversity of Airbnb Hosts

Not only does Airbnb want to make sure their user base is redressed, but they also want to increase the diversity of their hosts. Danny Glover points out untapped potential for those in diverse communities to reap the rewards of the company and even stave foreclosure in instances when extra rental income means homeowners can stay in their home.
As we noted in an earlier article covering the ongoing litigation Airbnb faces, it has taken a proactive approach to matters and brings their own suits against municipalities - sheepish they are not. Their proactive approach seems to extend to their diversity battle, through multiple partnerships including the NAACP and other organizations, to achieve their stated goal to double the size of its U.S. host community in urban majority-minority districts and underserved areas within the next two years.

Of course, there are two sides to the coin. While we applaud the efforts of Airbnb to make it's platform more inclusive, there are a wide range of legal issues that can arise from these agreements. We've fielded many requests from property owners that want to bring their units up to compliance and register as a host, while we have also encountered owners that discover that their tenants are profiteering from the rental unit by engaging in their own short-term rental agreements without the landlord's permission, an action that is normally a violation of the lease and can be corrected.
No matter what side of the coin you fall on, property owners need to know that in this nascent area of law, it is best approached with a competent real estate attorney.
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As the founding attorney of Bornstein Law, Broker of Record for Bay Property Group and expert witness, Daniel Bornstein is a foremost and well-respected expert in landlord-tenant disputes and other property management issues with over 23 years of experience in handling real estate and civil litigation related disputes in and throughout the Bay Area. More than a litigator, Daniel manages rental properties, assists in completing real estate transactions and is well known for his educational seminars. He is always eager to answer questions and engage with Bay Area landlords, property owners and real estate professionals. Email him today.