By: Camille Respess
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Airbnb and Issues of Racism
In recent years, the popularity of rental service Airbnb has certainly grown. The service allows hosts to post their properties (houses, condos, apartment, even rooms) for guests to rent.
Airbnb mainstreams the rental of properties. But it hasn’t existed without controversy.
In 2017, an Airbnb host told a guest via the service’s direct message, “I wouldn’t rent it to u if u were the last person on earth” and “One word says it all. Asian.”
According to an article by The Guardian, the woman attempting to rent, Dyne Suh, received the messages above, as well as those saying her reservation was canceled just minutes before her arrival. The Airbnb host was fined $5,000 and was required to a course in Asian American studies.
Just this August, an Airnbnb host denied a potential guest from renting their apartment for a weekend because one of the guests was black. The messages read, “there’s no blacks allowed in the building,” and “please cancel your reservation.”
As outlined in Airbnb’s diversity and inclusion statement, “discrimination has no place” on their platform. In 2017, the rental service agreed to allow the government to test for racial discrimination by their hosts.
The effect of this basically means that Airbnb is held to the same standard as landlords who are held accountable by Fair Housing laws.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color; religion; national origin; familial status or age.
Attorneys at Kennedy Hunt P.C. know how to defend victims of housing discrimination. Read about our cases. Fill out our case questionnaire if you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination. Our expert attorneys are ready to help you.