The airbnb site has been criticised for a breach of the hospitality industry’s strict rules against “toxic behaviour” and has faced criticism for a string of recent incidents.
A recent report from the National Consumer Law Centre (NCLC) said airbnb had been “failing to implement strong, clear, and enforceable rules for dealing with the many complaints of alleged ‘hosting abuse’ by its guests.”
The NCLC’s research found that host abuse was a key problem for hosts in India, where many people use the service to book accommodation.
“Airbnb has a lot of money, a lot access to the resources of hosts, and a lot control over the terms of their contract,” said NCLC director and India director Anand Sharma.
“It is the responsibility of host operators to do everything possible to make sure their hosts are safe and secure.”
Hosts are often reluctant to share their own information, which has led to host abuse being reported to Airbnb.
“The Airbnb platform has made hosting abuse a real concern in India,” said Nisha Jain, senior lecturer in law at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
That’s the only way you can get the attention of the hosts and the authorities.” “
If people want to rent a house from an Airbnb, there is a huge temptation to make a complaint.
That’s the only way you can get the attention of the hosts and the authorities.”
Airbnb said it was working to address the problem.
“As a community, we have a responsibility to ensure safe and respectful housing and that hosts have the same rights as everyone else,” a spokesperson said.
“Hosts who report issues with abusive behaviour are supported in doing so by our legal team, and are empowered to pursue claims if needed.”
Airbnb is not the only business to face criticism in India for lax anti-hosting measures.
AirBnB has also faced criticism in the country for failing to take steps to curb host abuse.
Airbnb also faces questions about the impact of its service on Indian hosts, who are increasingly struggling to afford the monthly rent they need to live in the capital city.
The NCLC’s report suggested Airbnb was a victim of “a cultural failure to act swiftly and effectively in a time of crisis”.
“AirBnBs inability to address host abuse has put the lives of thousands of Indian hosts at risk and led to a culture of fear and fear-mongering,” the report said.
The report also found that Airbnb’s terms and conditions violated consumer law.
“In some cases, hosts are unable to use their hosts account for a number of reasons, including security reasons, and other factors such as fraud,” the NCLC said.