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Airbnb plans to prevent landlords from profiting off pandemic evictions

June 17, 2021

Airbnb plans to prevent landlords from profiting off pandemic evictions

Airbnb is implementing a new policy to prevent landlords from using its service as the moratorium on evictions expires this month.

Beginning Tuesday (June 16), the company will prohibit landlords from listing properties where they evicted tenants for failure to pay rent.

Airbnb says the policy will be in effect until the end of the year to ensure that landlords aren’t forcing out renters to profit off short-term rentals during a public health crisis.

The company said it would work with cities to identify properties where renters were pushed out after being protected under the moratorium as the country braces for a wave of evictions come the end of June.

An estimated 14 percent of adult renters in the United States are behind on payments and there are delays in disbursing federal emergency aid, according to data  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Airbnb’s tremendous growth over the past decade has put it at the center of some controversy, including accusations that short-term rentals have driven up rents and encouraged tourists to vacation in residential neighborhoods.

Allegations that Airbnb rentals were being used for parties during the pandemic fueled the animosity, leading the company to institute a ban on gatherings of more than 16 people at its rentals.

Airbnb also canceled and blocked all reservations in the Washington metro area around the inauguration earlier this year, amid efforts to secure the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection. The company also has banned accounts for many people involved in hate groups and the Capitol riot.

Yet Airbnb’s latest policy could be challenging to enforce. Airbnb says it’s addressing this through a new portal built to enable governments to manage short-term rental policies. Lehane said cities could use these tools to flag properties that violate the eviction ban to the company.

Airbnb has also named Andrew Kalloch “anti-eviction administrator” to coordinate with cities on the new policy.

Article courtesy of: Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post

Photo courtesy of: https://www.courthousenews.com/airbnb-loses-fight-over-citys-strict-rental-rules/

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