Staying in New Orleans?

Airbnb has refused to admit liability for multiple serious injuries suffered by a group of guests who fell two storeys when the balcony of their holiday rental in Brighton collapsed beneath them.

Four friends had to have hospital treatment, including one impaled on an iron railing, when what was advertised as a “balcony with sea view” sheared off, sending the guests tumbling into the basement footwell. They had rented the £217-a-night flat for a birthday celebration in July through the booming accommodation website, which is at the forefront of the fast-growing sharing economy.

How’s that sharing economy working for you now?

Since we’ve been rejected by two San Antonio apartment complexes (including a 22-story high-rise that we really wanted) — once because of incorrect information provided by CoreLogic, a credit/background history reporting company, and the second time because the leasing agent didn’t read my initial requirements email correctly, it’s beginning to look like we’ll be staying in New Orléans. Misty is far more excited by the prospect than I am. (Note the first apartment complex that rejected us is in the process of rerunning that application after we provided them with documentation on our dispute with CoreLogic, which is the subject an incredible number of complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Note that the CFPB will be under threat in Trump’s administration.)

We’re still going to move, though. We’re not going to stay in this shitty neighborhood in this expensive and shitty apartment. We’ll also get a car. Those two changes will make life here significantly better — we’ll feel more comfortable in our ‘hood and be able to do things. After I get off work at six, since we have to take the bus or a Lyft everywhere, there’s no time to do anything if we want to get home at a decent hour. Much easier to jump in the car, go wherever and then come home. The need to own a vehicle is a sad fact that applies to most American cities. We ain’t in NYC no mo’.

So, yes, things will get better just from that. Certain things about the city won’t change, however. The violence, the lack of good Mexican food, the dearth of decent massage therapists, the decidedly neglected streets and sidewalks and trash . . . that stuff and more won’t change.

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We are finding much more affordable, larger and nicer apartments in other NOLA neighborhoods right now. I think Misty is correct when she posits that the city’s new Airbnb regulations may be driving those previously renting short-term to tourists via Airbnb to put their units on the long-term residential rental market. Maybe they decided they couldn’t afford to keep the place if they could only rent it out 90 days a year. Better to put it on the market and get a regular, higher payment. If so, this proves arguments that Airbnb can decimate the local rental market and crowd out affordable long-term rental options.

Regulating Airbnb is simple. There should be no confusion here. Which regulations apply? Well, it’s right there in their name: “bnb” — bed and breakfast. Done. In fact, look up their previous name. See what I mean?

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Writers, the Wall Street Journal is lying to you. As I’ve said for years, everyone wants a writer; no one wants to pay a writer.

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