At Bornstein Law, we always try to stay ahead of the curve and don’t want to resort to “told you so”. Let’s just say we were somewhat prophetic in preaching to our clients early on that the short-term rental arrangements of Airbnb would be problematic, and it ended up being a beauty.

Let’s reel back the clock to see how one of the most highly valued unicorns in Silicon Valley drew a legal battle line against its home town.


The short-term rental industry is booming. Platforms like Home Away, FlipKey, and VRBO are hugely popular and Airbnb has emerged as the industry leader. The law has always lagged technology, but the gap is narrowing.


New York City was a pioneer in combatting Airbnb, and with good reason. With 25,000 listings a night, the Big Apple is the platform’s largest market. The Attorney General there claimed that upwards to 72% of these units were essentially illegal hotels. Watch the video on New York’s crackdown here.


Inevitably, the contention came westward, on Airbnb’s home soil. Airbnb recently settled the lawsuit against its hometown, agreeing to San Fran Francisco's demand for transparency about its hosts and help enforce existing registration laws. More details here →


We predicted this fiasco early in the parade, sensing that the law which regulates short term rental agreements, at its outset, was simply not workable. An alarmed San Francisco Planning Board attempted to put regulations in place to provide some guidance in the modern era of Airbnb, but by its own admission, the Board’s enforcement was next to impossible. Litigation, then, was inevitable.


Like most matters, the attorneys at Bornstein Law are neutral on this topic, knowing that the individual circumstances of each case must be considered. Whatever your role is, Bornstein Law can provide strategic advice to maximize the value of your rental property.


If you are an owner interested in short term rentals within your rental unit or within the unit you reside in, or if you have a tenant that is improperly engaged in short term rentals, get in touch.


This nascent area of law is evolving, but you can count on Bornstein Law to keep pace with the changing times. Sine the date of this writing, Airbnb has become embroiled in still further litigation and we continue the thread in this updated post.


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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.

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