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Airbnb promises to work more closely with cities on home rentals

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 12, 2015
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To say that Airbnb's relationship with cities is sometimes confrontational would be an understatement. At times, it's practically contemptuous. The home rental service is trying to offer an olive branch, though -- it just posted a Community Compact that promises a better relationship with the cities where it operates. Airbnb is promising to communicate with each city on a case-by-case basis, and make sure that it pays its "fair share" of taxes. It's also vowing more transparency, and to encourage "responsible" home sharing (such as discouraging people who turn homes into permanent hotels).

Airbnb is adamant that this is "not a ceiling" to how much it's willing to cooperate. With that in mind, there's no question that this is ultimately about heading off future legal battles. The firm wants to "self-regulate" and convince local governments that it's a positive force before they implement any regulation of their own. The Compact could do some good, but the real litmus test will come the next time a city raises concerns about sensitive topics like Airbnb's effect on affordable housing.

[Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images]

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