Home-sharing platform Airbnb has been increasingly under fire from city authorities attempting to limit residential rentals through the online marketplace.
Arguing in the company's defense this week, Airbnb co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Nathan Blecharczyk told CNBC in Paris that this is largely a result of "misinformation" and hurts ordinary people.
Varying local regulations, which often fine users as well as Airbnb for breaching local rules on property renting, are "punitive" to regular people and hit many users' sources of income, Blecharczyk said during the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) annual forum this week.
City regulators have been cracking down on the rental service. In Berlin, owners who rent more than half of their properties out without city council permission could face up to $100,000 in fines. Dublin requires planning permission for users who want to change the use of their property for short-term lets. New York City's mayor in 2016 signed a bill to fine landlords letting out their properties for less than 30 days, while London requires planning permission for rentals longer than 90 days.
The local officials claim that houses used for Airbnb renting end up inflating property prices and have a negative impact on the community, while the company's executives say it only increases prices "on the margins." Varying metrics examining the platform's market impact have produced conflicting results, but the rise of short-term rentals has taken thousands of houses off the market in individual cities and increased demand in already high-demand areas.