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Legal troubles deepen for Airbnb

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City authorities around the world hit online site

Airbnb has been fined €30,000 for breaking a law in Barcelona that requires any property rented to tourists to be on Catalonia’s tourism registry. This is the latest in a series of attacks from city authorities around the world against Airbnb, a rapidly growing online platform that allows individuals to rent out their homes, rooms or apartments to visitors.

In New York, owners and tenants cannot legally rent out their apartments for periods of less than 30 days, unless they are also living in the property. In many other cities there is also a hotel or tourist tax to pay.

Airbnb is also under pressure in San Francisco, New Orleans, Malibu and other US cities. In Berlin, Airbnb has been blamed for rising rents and city officials have created a new housing law banning regular short-term letting of rooms without permission.

Many in the hotel industry would also like to see Airbnb’s rising power cut short. According to the Economist newspaper, by 2016 Airbnb may be taking a 10% bite out of hotels’ earnings, which could end up bankrupting some accommodation businesses.

The Guardian

[pictured: One of many interesting Airbnb listings of places to stay; photo courtesy Airbnb]

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