In 2023, will the city of Austin make a law that requires airbnb to obtain a city of Austin license to host guests before allowing users to make host accounts?
5
33
850
resolved Jan 5
Resolved
NO

It is already required to have an airbnb license, but there doesn't seem to be much enforcement, and anyone in Austin can make a host account on vrbo or airbnb. This law would create enforcement by restricting airbnb to be required to verify licenses. This article says that there may be a decision in March: https://www.kvue.com/article/news/investigations/defenders/austin-stop-unlicensed-short-term-rentals/269-776e8469-095b-4928-8947-7f9de7b1f190

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predicted NO

This appears to have gone nowhere and it doesn't look like any such law passed. Creator is inactive, resolving NO.

A few thoughts on this one:
1. While it's entirely possible that the Austin City Council will pass such a law, it's likely that it'd be overturned in court – much like its STR ordinance has now twice. Why? The city keeps pushing legally faulty solutions: it's a violation of state law to permit, but then prohibit, STRs in single-family, non-homestead homes (a.k.a. Type 2 STRs).

2. That article is from last December, and instead of passing an ordinance by March, they passed nothing at all.

3. Austin still can't enforce jack as far as STRs go – they lack the budget, and they've wasted untold millions fighting for a NIMBY issue unsuccessfully in court.

4. Finally, basically every city wants Airbnb to hand over their lists of hosts in any given area, but a) Airbnb has no legal obligation to do so (an Austin ordinance has no sway over a California-based corporation); and b) this would almost certainly be shot down in court as a First Amendment violation if it made it that far. There is literally nothing whatsoever illegal with solely creating a host account, and suggesting that Austin authorities can someone "police" internet content in this fashion also likely constitutes a Sec. 230 violation in addition to the 1A.