There are tons of hospitality exchange communities out there – Couchsurfing is the first to come to mind – but none have been more controversial than Airbnb, which seems to be constantly struggling in various cities in the legality of its business.
For example, in New York State, you are only allowed to sublet an apartment for 30 continuous days or less if you’re present. Yet many renters put their places online to make a little money when they’re out of town.
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This also presents a problem for neighbors who live near Airbnb renters who may not be thrilled to see strangers routinely come in and out of their building. So today, Airbnb is launching a Neighbors tool to let you file a complaint when the subletters piss you off.
Complaints can range anywhere between excessive noise, inappropriate activities, or misuse of common areas. Airbnb will review the case, match the address description to a possible Airbnb listing, and follow up with the host without naming the neighbor who filed the complaint. If the neighbor wish to work it out with the host directly, however, they can allow Airbnb to give that host their contact information.
How the mediation will actually play out is another issue altogether, but at least it’ll probably work better than giving your neighbor the side eye whenever you pass them in the hallways.