Despite their potential for reshaping vacations, the future is uncertain for the growing sharing economy, particularly for Airbnb.
The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman served an investigatory subpoena to Airbnb requesting information including a list of hosts in New York City and the revenue those rentals to determine whether people are renting multiple apartments on the site and thus running illegal hotels. Schneiderman's office has been in contact with other sharing economy sites to ensure the enforcement of existing laws, says Matt Mittenthal, spokesperson for the attorney general's office. Cities including New Orleans, Sedona, Ariz., and San Francisco have also scrutinized Airbnb to ensure their hosts comply with city laws.
Airbnb is working with cities on how to exist as part of the regulatory infrastructure, Turner says.
"Slowly but surely sharing companies and 'the system' are figuring out how to work together," Turner says. "Other new forms of business need to figure out the best kind of regulation for them."