Post by High Priestess on Nov 7, 2016 16:47:14 GMT
INteresting excerpts from the study:
Separately, Jefferson-Jones has also examined the question of whether short-term rental restrictions could be considered a “regulatory taking” of private property that would violate the U.S. Constitution’s fifth and fourteenth amendments.”77 H
short-term rental restrictions “typically aim to protect the aesthetic tranquility and quality of life of neighborhoods” and that when framed this way, U.S. courts have generally viewed these restrictions as overly intrusive on private property rights and directed local governments to find other ways of achieving their goals, such as by stepping up enforcement of nuisance bylaws.82 A more successful approach, according to Pindell, is to explicitly connect the purpose of the restriction to the community’s wider planning goals: “Short-term rental ordinances appear to succeed or fail depending on how a court balances the extent of the property interest impaired with the goal of the government regulation.”83
The researcher had to violate Airbnb Terms of SErvice in order to do the research:
Airbnb has a lengthy “user conduct” section in its terms of service. At the time I began collecting listing data, that section stated that it was a violation to use “manual or automated software, devices, scripts, robots or other means or processes to access, ‘scrape,’ ‘crawl’ or ‘spider’ any web pages or other services contained in the Site, Application, Services or Collective Content.” 137 This section also stated that by using the site, users agreed not to “copy, store or otherwise access any information contained on the Site, Application, Services or Collective Content for purposes not expressly permitted by these Terms.”138 These terms are obviously quite restrictive. As I successfully argued in my application to SFU’s Office of Research Ethics, abiding by these terms would preclude researchers from conducting certain types of critical inquiry into matters of pressing public interest, such as Airbnb’s influence on housing markets and the tourism industry.
It is common, in comments to call-in shows and articles about Airbnb, to hear from landlords that they switched to Airbnb because it provides them with more control over their properties and they prefer to deal with tourists instead of tenants, which they describe as more trouble than they are worth.346 The net effect of Airbnb in Vancouver is therefore to further advantage those who already have secure housing (at least in relation to tenants) at the expense of those who do not. This runs counter to the city’s housing and social policy goals, especially given its already high levels of housing and income inequality.
Insist on platform accountability and cooperation Airbnb spokespeople have frequently stated that they want to partner with cities and “make cities stronger.”350 In a “community compact” document the company published in November 2015 (following a successful but contentious battle against a San Francisco ballot initiative that would have imposed stricter regulations) it implicitly acknowledged that it had not previously provided cities with the listing and booking data they have requested.351 In fact, I know of no city where Airbnb has voluntarily complied with local government requests to provide contact and booking information for STR operators.352 Without this information, there is no point in including limits on the number of nights that listings can be booked, as various cities have done in hopes of preventing housing from being turned into full-time STR rentals, since compliance with those limits cannot be verified or enforced. Without contact information, there is also no feasible way that the city can monitor or enforce compliance with any permit requirements it might choose to implement.
I will now provide a short list of specific recommendations consistent with the principles just discussed.367 6.2.1. Limit STRs to primary residences occupied by the operator for at least a year 6.2.2. Preventing the use of housing units created through the city’s affordable housing policies as full-time STRs 6.2.3. Address STR use of private rooms While much of the concern about Airbnb’s housing impacts centres on the use of entire units, and justifiably so, the problem of private rooms should not be overlooked, especially given the costs of Vancouver housing in relation to the provincial minimum wage of $10.45 (as of June 2016). At those wages, workers cannot afford to rent an entire apartment, so their only option is a private room. This is a trickier question to deal with than entire units, since understandably, many people who seek to offset their housing costs would prefer a temporary guest to a full-time roommate. If the city is to meet its rental housing policy goals, however, it must explore and grapple with this problem. 6.2.4. Require permit numbers to be listed on advertisements In Chapter 1, I touched on the difficulties of enforcing the rules prohibiting STRs that already exist in Vancouver, due in part to the fact that merely documenting the fact that a listing exists and is advertised not does seem to provide enough evidence for a successful prosecution.372 Other jurisdictions have grappled with this problem too, which is why some have moved to require operators to not only have a permit, but to display that number in the actual listing and make it a lesser offence not to do so. This is intended to make enforcement efforts easier and more efficient. I recommend the city adopt this practice. 6.2.5. Require STR platforms to verify registration before new listings are published, remove non-registered listings, and provide booking data. As mentioned earlier in this section, cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles are now attempting to compel platforms, rather than just individual operators, to share the burden of compliance, such as by requiring platforms to ensure that a listing is actually registered before publishing it, removing illegal or unregistered listings promptly in response to city requests, and regularly sharing booking data so that limits on annual stays can be monitored and enforced. 373 Similar efforts are underway at the state level in New York.374 In late June 2016 Airbnb filed suit against the City of San Francisco over its new rules and the City of Los Angeles has yet to enact them.375 The outcome of the San Francisco lawsuit is likely to affect the type of rules and expectations other local governments attempt to impose on STR platforms, so developments in that city and in Los Angeles are worth watching. 6.2.6. Obtain third-party data New services are now emerging that could help the city independently monitor and proactively enforce the existing zoning rules or any permit scheme it chooses to adopt, which would free the city from dependence on getting listing address information from Airbnb.376 Use of such services could also improve the very poor compliance rates that many cities with permit systems have been experiencing so far. 377 The District of Tofino has already hired such as service to collect listing data, in preparation for a taking a stricter approach to STR enforcement than it has implemented in the past.378 The City of Vancouver has very recently followed suit and reported on that data, which is commendable. 379 Use of these types of services may not be necessary, or less crucial, if local governments are successful in implementing the enforcement mechanisms mentioned in 6.2.4 and 6.25. 6.3. Other policies to consider Other policies aimed at protecting rental housing stock have been suggested or enacted elsewhere, and while intriguing, I have too many qualms to recommend them. One such policy is imposing an extra tax or a portion of lodging taxes on Airbnb bookings in order to fund affordable housing.380 While this could have positive results, my concern is that taking this approach would imply that such a tax would completely offset the financial and social costs of allowing housing units to be converted to full-time tourist use. As I have discussed, the costs of replacing lost rental units (especially when those units are at the most affordable end of the spectrum, such as with secondary suites) is considerable and it can also be a lengthy process. Also, new units that are added as a product of such a tax would not necessarily be in the same communities that housing units have been lost from. Another common recommendation is to establish a limit of the number of nights that can be booked for a given listing on annual basis. While this suggestion has merit, it can only be enforced if cities are able to obtain booking data on a regular basis (as Los Angeles has proposed).381 Limiting the overall number of listings may also be worthy of consideration, but it brings up questions of equitable access, since newcomers’ access to permits may be limited by those who were in the pool first. In terms of more drastic options, the city could also consider a ban, such was recently enacted in Anaheim, California in response to two years of frustration over the city’s ability to control the negative impacts of STRs.382 Anaheim’s circumstances are quite different than Vancouver’s however, in that the city is home to Disneyland, one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world.
Good Grief! Only read as far as the research question but she is lucky i am not her supervisor! Ethics and methods seriously faulty, more in line with a first year trial undergrad submission. Bias is already evident!
Post by High Priestess on Nov 7, 2016 18:02:14 GMT
Yes....there are a number of these so-called "master's theses" being turned out now. THey are not really scholarship of any kind, since it's clear that the researcher had decided their conclusion before even starting their research. These are more accurately called anti-Airbnb political treatises funded by academia.